Punjab Congress chief slams Centre over medical oxygen shortage

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Amid depleting stock of medical oxygen, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Monday accused the Centre of “discriminating” against the state in allocation of the life-saving gas for COVID-19 patients.

He also accused the central government of not permitting the Punjab government for bringing oxygen from Pakistan.

“The situation (pertaining to oxygen) is turning frightening,” said Jakhar while addressing the media on Monday evening.

Against the requirement of 250-300 metric tonnes of oxygen, the Centre is supplying only 104 MT at present to the state, he alleged. “There is a shortage of at least 125-150 MT of oxygen in the state,” he said.

“We are being discriminated against by the Centre,” he alleged urging the government to ensure at least 250 MT of oxygen to Punjab.

Jakhar said some Pakistan-based industrial associations told the state government that they have oxygen available with them.

Despite communicating with the Home and Foreign ministry officials by the Punjab government officers for allowing oxygen at the state government's cost, the Centre did not permit it, he alleged.

Slamming the Centre for its alleged wrong policies, Jakhar said if any death takes place because of shortage of oxygen, it will be very unfortunate.

He questioned what a state could expect from the Centre when it cannot ensure sufficient oxygen.

The former Gurdaspur MP said an Amritsar-based company had offered to give 50,000 antiviral Remdesivir injections free of charge. But the Centre was not permitting it as well, he alleged.

He also said the state government had even brought 20,000 injections of Remdesivir from Rajasthan. PTI CHS VSD HDA