KPCC says it is ready to spend Rs 100 crore to vaccinate people in Karnataka
Seeks clearance from State, Centre to procure vaccine
Bengaluru: The Karnataka Congress announced here on Friday that it had prepared a Rs 100-crore plan to procure vaccines directly from vaccine manufacturers and administer them to the people in the State. Party State president D K Shivakumar said "Since the Modi and Yediyurappa governments have collectively failed to vaccinate masses, we want to do it ourselves. We just need two small permissions, one from the central government and another from the State government. My appeal to the BJP to not let politics come in the way and in the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat allow Congress to directly procure and administer vaccines," he said.
"Congress wants to show Modi-Yediyurappa that it is possible to quickly vaccinate people. We just need permission to procure and to use MLA/MLC development funds to buy vaccines. Since they can't do it, they should let us do it," Shivakumar added.
Currently, vaccine procurement rules in India allow central and State governments, hospitals and industries to directly procure vaccines.
Talking about the plan, Shivakumar said out of Rs 100 crore, Rs 10 crore would be contributed by the Karnataka Congress from its fund. "The remaining Rs 90 crore can come from the Congress MLA/MLC funds. I appeal to the Yediyurappa government to please allow us to use the MLA/MLC funds to procure vaccines directly in a transparent manner because the Modi and Yediyurappa governments have been failing to do so for months now," he added.
The State government has announced the floating of global tenders to procure vaccines from manufacturers. Tearing into the government, the KPCC president said, "The Karnataka government is only now floating global tenders. Had these initiatives been taken months ago, so many lives would have been saved!."
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said that had the people been vaccinated in an effective way the majority of the population would have fought the pandemic effectively.
Over the increase in the gap between the first dose and the second dose of the Covishield vaccine, Siddaramaiah said that the guidelines were repeatedly changed.
"The State government chief secretary has said the vaccine would take several months to come to the State. Corona's third wave is coming up shortly afterwards, previously, the gap between the first and second dose was 6 weeks, and now the new guideline has been raised it to 12 to 16 weeks.
The government is changing the guidelines to its advantage when it comes to vaccination. There is a scientific process, and the time interval between the two doses must have been decided at the time of its preparation, so how could it be changed," Siddaramiah asked.
The senior Congress leader also demanded that the central government work on giving the vaccine free of charge in the entire country.