Punjab govt profiteering from COVID-19 vaccine sale: Union Minister HS Puri

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, June 05, 2021, 03:33 PM IST
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Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri |

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri drew sharp criticism over Congress-led Punjab government's handling of COVID-19 vaccines and accusing the state government of 'profiteering' from the sale of vaccines.

While addressing a press conference HS Puri said that the Covidshield dose that was purchased at Rs 309 was being sold at Rs 1,560 by the state government. He mentioned, "In Punjab, the Covid-19 doses which should be provided free of cost to people were sold at higher prices".

"Punjab govt's officer & incharge of COVID vaccination on May 29 has disclosed some data & pointed out that 4.29 lakh doses of Covishield were procured at Rs 13.25 Cr, which means its average amount per dose was Rs 309. While, 1,14,190 Covaxin doses procured at Rs 4.70 cr its average amount is Rs 412", Puri added.

He accused the state governments of profiteering on Covid-19 vaccines from the general public. He said, "The Centre has distributed 50% of vaccines to states & UTs to administer vaccines to people free of cost. States are profiteering on their own procurement. If these (above) figures are true then the real amount of profit is not just Rs 2.40 Cr".

He attacked opposition leader Rahul Gandhi saying that his own government is drawing huge profits from people in Punjab. He said, "Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been saying "where are our children's vaccines?" In Rajasthan it's been dumped in garbage and here (in Punjab) people are making a profit out of it".

Earlier on Friday, the Punjab government 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", sparked a row.

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