Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt equipments, instruments, medicines and support infrastructure required to deal with the Covid-19 crisis from GST.
In a letter to Modi, she said even ventilators, oxymeters, oxygen cylinders and key life-saving drugs like Remdesivir and Dexamethazone attract GST at present.
Gandhi said she had a detailed interaction with the Chief Ministers and Ministers of States ruled by the Congress and its allies to take stock of the most disturbing Covid-19 situation.
“Vaccines are our foremost hope. Sadly, most of the states, including those ruled by the BJP and its allies, are left with a stock of just 3 to 5 days. While it will be necessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity, it will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorisation of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances, without any further delay. Accordingly, with enhanced availability, categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age. In the same vein, the numbers allocated to a state has to be based on the prevalence and projection of infection in that particular state,” she urged in the letter.
She said restrictions on economic activity will hit the the poor and the daily wagers hard. She reiterated her appeal that the Centre must put into place a minimum monthly guaranteed income of ₹ 6,000 in every eligible citizen’s account. “Similarly, with reverse migration of labour already having started, it will be critical to immediately address their needs of safe and seamless transportation, as indeed their suitable rehabilitation in the host as well as home States,” she added. The Hindu BusinessLine