Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to exempt Goods and Services Tax (GST) on COVID vaccines and medicines for over a certain period of time. CM Stalin has put forth a total of five requests for the state including that of GST and hiking the subsidiary funds for the state. Around 12 major opposition party leaders have also written to PM Modi demanding vaccines to be procured from all available resources globally and locally. They further provided suggestions on how to tackle the COVID-19 situation in the country.
In his letter, CM Stalin has given a detailed explanation of the various steps that have been taken by the state in obtaining the vaccines. He has urged PM Modi to waive off GST on COVID vaccines and medicines for over a certain period as the state government is procuring them on their own. The state is expected to receive 13,000 more vaccines after the former CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami has requested for increase in state's vaccine quota. CM Stalin further demanded the quick dispersal of pending GST compensation as well. The request also included the hiking of the state's borrowing limits from 3% of SGDP (State Gross Domestic Product) to 4%.
On Wednesday, CM Stalin announced that the state government's decision to import COVID-19 vaccines via a global contract in order to meet the state's demands. Citing that the Centre-allocated 13 lakh vaccine doses for the inoculation of persons between 18 & 44 years of age were insufficient, the newly elected Tamil Nadu CM announced that a global tender would be floated to procure vaccines from manufacturers around the globe.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, CM Stalin on Monday expressed his concern over the ''low'' allocation of Remdesivir from the Central government to the state. The Tamil Nadu CM has demanded an increase in the supply of the drug. Stalin raised the issue with the Union Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal over a phone call. He stated that there was a minimum requirement of 20,000 vials a day and only such a quantity could be useful to meet the requirements of government and private hospitals in the state.
"The Central government has been doing the allocation of this medicine to all states. Accordingly, so far, 2.5 lakh vials have been allotted to Tamil Nadu, which is a low allocation of 7,000 per day," he said.
As per the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Tamil Nadu on Thursday reported 10,554 new COVID cases with 19,508 recoveries and 293 deaths. The total active cases of the state remain at 1,72,735 with 12,9,658 total recoveries and 16,471 deaths.
As per Union Health Ministry, India reported 3,62,727 new COVID-19 cases, 3,52,181 discharges and 4,120 deaths in the last 24 hours.
(Image Credits: PTI)