TN got less, Stalin tells Modi; seeks one crore vaccine doses

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Chennai, Jul 16 (PTI) Comparatively, allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Tamil Nadu is less and the Centre should provide one crore doses as a special case, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

All goods related to tackling the coronavirus pandemic must be exempted from Goods and Services Tax and the Centre should reconsider its decision to conduct national level exams like the NEET as it may lead to virus spread, Stalin requested Modi.

Taking part in a virtual interaction Modi had with Chief Ministers, Stalin said his government has 'fully avoided wastage of vaccines,' from previous six per cent and awareness has been created successfully about the importance of getting vaccinated.

In view of such awareness, the demand for vaccines has tremendously increased in Tamil Nadu, Stalin said.

'However, when compared with other states, the allocation for our state is very less. To handle this tough situation, I had requested a special allocation of one crore vaccine doses. I look forward to your support in this important issue,' he told Modi.

On July 13, Stalin had said that till July 8, 2021, Tamil Nadu received only 29,18,110 vaccine doses from the Centre for people in the 18-44 years age bracket and 1,30,08,440 for the above 45 years category.

The allocation was very inadequate and TN did not receive vaccines proportionate to its population, Stalin had said in a letter to Modi.

Stalin recalled that he has been requesting exemption for 'all goods related to coronavirus' and it should be considered.

'It is said that there will be a third wave and we are taking all precautionary measures to tackle it and the union government should extend more help to states to handle such an eventuality,' he said.

'I assure you that Tamil Nadu government will take all steps to handle the pandemic and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with you (Centre) and all other states to overcome the pandemic.' When schools and colleges continued to be closed down in view of the pandemic, 'conducting national level exams like the NEET may lead to virus spread,' he said and urged Modi to reconsider the decision to hold such tests. NEET has been scheduled to be held on September 12.

Stalin said his newly elected government had to face the tough task of tackling the second wave of the pandemic and the government rose to the challenge and curbed virus spread and brought down deaths.

'I would like to thank the Central government for increasing oxygen supplies and stepping up Remdesivir allocation to Tamil Nadu.' He also outlined the COVID-19 related relief initiatives like Rs 4,000 assistance to rice ration card holders and distribution of relief hamper, comprising 14 essential commodities, to them.

The Tamil Nadu government has extended the additional rice allocation by the Centre for priority ration card holders to all rice category ration card holders.

Similarly, the union government should extend the scheme to all eligible card holders, he said.

Modi interacted with Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala on the COVID-19 scenario.PTI VGN SS PTI PTI

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