Mumbai, Mar 2 : Former chief minister and Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the Centre’s move to charge people Rs 250 for COVID-19 vaccine dosage, the Phase-2 of which was launched nationwide on Monday.
A person aged above 45 years with comorbidities or over 60-years-old can get inoculated at a designated centre for Rs 250 per dose in the second phase. Taking umbrage at this, Chavan said that in the Phase-1, the centre had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs 210 per dose.
“As per the Feb 1 Budget speech of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rs 35,000 crore has been allocated for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs 210 per dose, more than 1.50 billion doses can be procured,” Chavan asserted.
These 1.50 billion doses can help inoculate 75 crore people, covering almost the entire adult population of the country, and hence if budgetary provisions are made, then why the charges (Rs.250) are being levied, Chavan asked.
Chavan further said, “Large countries such as USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to its citizens either through insurance schemes or by budgetary provisions.
He further demanded that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogy Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free Covid-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the Covid-19 vaccine, Modi government is digging into common man’s pocket.”