The union government must procure all the vaccines manufactured in India and bought globally and distribute it to states in consultation with them, CPI (M) Manipur said.
The Secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Manipur demanded to continue NFSA with PMGKAY together till the pandemic is over and withdraw 25 per cent vaccines reserved for the private sector and launch a free and universal mass vaccination drive.
In a statement on Wednesday, CPI(M), Manipur stated that Prime Minister Modi on June 7 announced that the Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended till November this year to benefit 80 crore people. The PMGKAY for May and June cost Rs. 25,232.92 lakhs to the government exchequer.
According to the scheme, the government distributed additional 5 kg of rice or wheat with 1 kg of pulses per month per person to the beneficiaries. Now, the government announced that the NFSA card holders are getting free 5 kg of rice or wheat with 1 kg of pulses per month per person only till November. CPI(M) argued that literally, the government is stopping NFSA till November. That means the quantity of May and June will be decreased to half. It’s unacceptable in the interest of the people, it added and demanded that NFSA with PMGKAY should be continued till the pandemic is over.
The statement further said that the Modi Government has been forced to withdraw its faulty and disastrous “liberalized vaccine policy” in the face of strong opposition, pushback from states and Supreme Court’s criticism of it. It has had to accept the demand for free vaccines for all citizens.
“People will reject the condemnable effort by the Prime Minister, through his national broadcast, to level false charges against state governments and shift the responsibility to them. The “liberalised
vaccine policy” was a unilateral decision of the central government,” it added.
The left party, however, said that the failed vaccine policy has not been fully reversed. The government has, however, chosen to continue the dual pricing policy. As much as 25 per cent of vaccine production is still reserved for the private sector. This is nothing but a license for loot by private manufacturers to make super profits, it contended.
“Further, at a time of acute vaccine shortage, the continuation of such a policy will dilute and weaken the need for universal vaccination essential to prevent a third wave of the Coronavirus. Only the rich can afford the exorbitant pricing of vaccines for the private hospitals permitted by the government,” it argued.
The CPI(M) demanded the withdrawal of the 25 per cent reservation for the private sector. The central government must procure all the vaccines manufactured in India and bought globally and distribute it to states in consultation with them.