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Business News/ News / India/  Centre should make its stand clear on pricing of covid vaccine: Bhupesh Baghel
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Centre should make its stand clear on pricing of covid vaccine: Bhupesh Baghel

He said while the impact of covid-19 and lockdown was felt in different parts of the country, Chhattisgarh did not face economic slowdown due to the pandemic
  • Baghel added that the announcement on nationwide lockdown was a ‘sudden one’ and left the state government scrambling
  • File Photo: Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel (ANI Photo )Premium
    File Photo: Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel (ANI Photo )

    Stepping up pressure on the union government to give more clarity on the pricing issue of covid-19 vaccine, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said the centre should make it clear whether it will be providing vaccines to states for free or what will be the contours if the cost has to be shared between the centre and the states.

    Addressing a session at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, 2020 Baghel, also a veteran Congress party leader, added that while the impact of covid-19 and lockdown was felt in different parts of the country, Chhattisgarh did not face economic slowdown due to the pandemic. He also added that the state government took a series of steps to cushion its fallout on farmers, migrant workers and small industries.

    “We are following centre’s health department guidelines over how the vaccine will come and its distribution. Any questions over whether the vaccine will be free or not seem to be asked only to chief ministers and not to the union ministers. Is there any indication that the union government is not going to give the vaccine for free and the onus will be on states?," Baghel said during the session on Thursday evening.

    “It seems the centre is not going to spend on vaccines and is only going to issue guidelines like it has been happening till now. States like ours will do their bit the union government has to make it clear whether it is making vaccines available for free to states and if not what will be the share of expenditure between centre and states. If that also will not happen then why we should follow guidelines of the centre are all expense is to be borne by us? We will make our own guidelines," he added.

    Baghel, who completes two years on the top post next month, added that the announcement on nationwide lockdown was a ‘sudden one’ and left the state government scrambling. He added that the centre’s approach has been to first try and control the states in the beginning and when ‘things go out of hand’ the onus is put on states.

    “There is economic slowdown in the entire country, but we ensured that it is not there in Chhattisgarh. 7 lakh workers and others came to Chhattisgarh but only 26,000 left the state when the nationwide lockdown was imposed. We reached out to businesses and told them that workers should continue to be there," he added.

    Speaking about the ongoing leadership crisis in the Congress, Baghel said that airing of views should be on party forums and not on public platforms. He also reiterated his view that Rahul Gandhi should return as Congress president because he has the “highest acceptability" among common party workers.

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    Published: 26 Nov 2020, 09:22 PM IST
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