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Rahul Gandhi Links SEC's Approval For Sputnik V To His Letter To PM Modi; Taunts Centre

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Union government on Monday over the Subject Expert Committee's approval of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

Rahul Gandhi

PTI


Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Centre on Monday over the Subject Expert Committee's approval of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. If the Drugs Controller General of India accepts the recommendation to grant Emergency Use Authorization to Sputnik V, it will become the third approved COVID-19 vaccine in India after COVAXIN and COVISHIELD amid surging novel coronavirus cases. Attributing the SEC's action to his letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi dated April 8, he reminded the Centre that the opposition is capable of making "good suggestions". 

Rahul Gandhi had made these suggestions in his letter

  • Provide vaccine suppliers with necessary resources to increase manufacturing capacity
  • Place an immediate moratorium on vaccine export
  • Fast track approval of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines
  • Open up vaccination to those who need it
  • Double central allocation for vaccine procurement from the existing Rs.35,000 crore
  • Give state governments a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution
  • Provide direct income support to the vulnerable sections in the disastrous second wave

Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to PM Modi earlier in the day after interaction with the CMs of states ruled by the party and Ministers from states where it is alliance governments. Maintaining that vaccines are the "foremost hope" for the country, she claimed that most states have vaccine stock of just 3-5 days. She stressed that the focus should be on not only ramping up domestic production capacity but allowing Emergency Use Authorization of all vaccine candidates that have the required clearances. Calling for expanding the categories eligible for vaccination on the basis of "need and exposure", the Rae Bareli MP also suggested that the supply of vaccine doses to a state should be determined by the prevalence of infection in that particular state.

Moreover, the Congress chief demanded that all equipment, medicines and support infrastructure required to deal with the COVID-19 crisis must be made completely exempt from GST. Considering that economic activity is being restricted owing to curfews, lockdowns and travel restrictions, she requested the Union government to transfer Rs. 6,000 to every eligible citizen's account per month. A total of 9,34,55,244 persons have been inoculated in India till now, 1,23,99,744 of them have received the second dose of the vaccine too. 

 

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