CPI (M) demands to continue both NFSA and PMGKAY throughout pandemic, withdraw 25 % vaccines for private sector, launch free vaccination drive

Imphal: CPI (M) Manipur has demanded to continue rice distribution for both NFSA and PMGKAY until the Covid-19 pandemic is over, to withdraw 25 percent vaccines for private sector and to launch free vaccination drive.

CPI(M), Manipur secretary Kshetrimayum Santa on Wednesday said Prime Minister Modi on June 7 announced that the Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended till November this year to benifit 80 crore people.

The PMGKAY for the May and June cost Rs 25232.92 to the government exchequer. According to the scheme the government distributed additional 5 kg of rice/wheat with 1kg of pulses per month per person to the beneficiaries.

Now, the government announced that the NFSA card holders are getting free 5 kg of rice/wheat with 1 kg of pulses per month per person only till November. Literally, the government is stopping NFSA till November. That means the quantity of the May and June will be decreased to half. It’s unacceptable in the interest of the people. The CPI(M) demand that NFSA with PMGKAY should be continued till the pandemic is over, Santa said.

The Modi government has been forced to withdraw its faulty and disastrous “liberalized vaccine policy” in the face of strong opposition, pushback from States and Supreme Court’s criticism of it. It has had to accept the demand for free vaccines for all citizens, he said.

People will reject the condemnable effort by the Prime Minister, through his national broadcast, to level false charges against State Governments and shift the responsibility to them. The “liberalised vaccine policy” was a unilateral decision of the central government.However, the failed vaccine policy has not been fully reversed. The government has, however, chosen to continue the dual pricing policy, he added.

As much as 25 per cent of vaccine production is still reserved for the private sector. This is nothing but a license for loot by private manufacturers to make super profits. Further, at a time of acute vaccine shortage, the continuation of such a policy will dilute and weaken the need for universal vaccination essential to prevent a third
wave of the Corona virus. Only the rich can afford the exorbitant pricing of vaccines for the private hospitals permitted by the government, Santa said.

The CPI(M) demands the withdrawal of the 25 per cent reservation for the private sector. The central government must procure all the vaccines manufactured in India and bought globally and distribute it to states in consultation with them, he added.

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