Mayawati slams Punjab govt over profiteering from Covid-19 vaccines

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Saturday said that Punjab government selling Covid vaccines to private hospitals at a premium was “indecent, inhuman, condemnable and very unfortunate.”

She also urged the Centre to take proper cognizance of it.

In a series of tweets, the BSP chief lashed out at the Congress government in Punjab stating that it was seeking to make profits during a time when the country was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The act of making a profit by the Congress government of Punjab during this time of pandemic by buying Covid-19 vaccine at Rs 400 and selling the same to private hospitals for Rs 1,060 instead of giving benefits to the public through government hospitals is indecent, inhuman, condemnable and very unfortunate,” said BSP chief in a tweet.

Mayawati termed this a “wicked act” and demanded the Central Government to take cognizance of it.

“After exposure of this wicked act of the Punjab government by the media, it is clear that whatever stand and rhetoric of the Congress leadership regarding the corona vaccine, so far, there seems to be less seriousness and more drama. The Central Government should take proper cognizance of this, this demand of BSP,” said Mayawati.

Earlier, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had demanded a High Court-monitored probe into the alleged selling of COVID vaccine doses by the Punjab government to private hospitals for profit.

“The Punjab government is getting vaccines at Rs 400 but selling them to private hospitals at Rs 1,060. And private hospitals are administering vaccines at higher prices. A case should be registered against Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu for diverting vaccines meant for the common man to private institutions,” Badal said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Friday withdrew its earlier order of providing “one-time” limited vaccine doses to the 18-44 age group population through private hospitals after allegations by opposition of “diverting” Covaxin doses at “hefty margins”.

A brief letter– signed by Vikas Garg, the state-in-charge for vaccination– said the order “has not been taken in the right spirit and is hereby withdrawn”.

Further, it has been decided that the private hospitals should return forthwith all the vaccine doses available with them. The doses which they have utilised as of date should also be returned, once they get supplies from the manufacturers,” the order added.

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