Siddaramaiah urges Centre to provide free COVID vaccines to states

ANI
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Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly and Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (File Photo/ANI)
Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly and Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (File Photo/ANI)

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], April 28 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly and Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday urged the Central government to become the sole procurer of the COVID vaccines and distribute it to the states for free.

"I strongly urge the Central government to be the sole procurer of COVID vaccines and distribute it to the states free of cost," said the Congress leader in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

The former Chief Minister also mentioned in the letter that the country in their budget will allocate Rs 35,000 crore to vaccinate people.

"India, in the past had distributed the vaccines free of cost in its efforts to eradicate polio, small pox and other diseases. It is surely possible to distribute freely even now and this will ensure accessibility and affordability for all the citizens, thereby fostering economic growth and physical well-being of them," he stated further.

The Karnataka government has announced a 14-day lockdown to contain the spread of pandemics. The eventual fallout due to lockdown is highly concerning as the state government has failed to address the livelihood concerns, the letter continued to read.

"Many daily wage labourers, auto drivers, barbers, and many others will become jobless. It is essential to extend free rice scheme to for six months and compensation of Rs 10,000 should be given to all poor families," it added.

He also demanded expansion of MNREGA work on-demand basis and increase the wages across the country so that workers returning from cities have sufficient access to income opportunities.

The Central government has decided to vaccinate all people aged above 18 on May 1, in a wake of the spread of coronavirus infection across the country. (ANI)