Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today inaugurated free Vaccine Sewa here which will also be extended to other Takhts including Takht Sri Damdama Sahab and Takth Sri Keshgarh Sahib in the coming days even as he asserted both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had failed to fulfill their duty to provide vaccines to the people.
The SAD President inaugurated the free Vaccine Sewa which is an initiative of the Shiromani Committee along with SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur in the Sri Darbar Sahab complex here.
Badal expressed surprise as to why the union government was dragging its feet in giving permission to world renowned companies Pfizer and Moderna to export their vaccines to India and said all needed permissions should be expedited. He also asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to place direct orders with companies who were supplying vaccines in the country instead of waiting for the meager supply from the central government to trickle to the State. He said the Punjab government should follow the example of the Mumbai municipal corporation which had used Rs 600 crore to purchase vaccines and demanded that vaccines worth Rs 1,000 crore be purchased immediately. While thanking SGPC for the initiative taken by it to purchase vaccine doses directly, he also thanked the DSGMC as well as social organizations and NGOs including Mr Vikramjit Singh Sahni of the World Punjabi Organization for donating oxygen concentrators for the people of Punjab.
The SAD President also decried the Congress government for not giving any relief to the people in this time of crisis and playing a fraud on them by claiming that it had affected a twenty per cent reduction in power tariff when nothing of this sort had been done. He said the government was projecting an Rs one reduction in power tariff of consumers who had a two kw power connection for the first two hundred units only. “These units are supposed to be given free of cost as was done by the previous SAD led government”, he said adding the truth was that power tariff had been increased not only for trade and industry but even charitable hospitals who were engaged in saving lives”. He said even domestic consumers who had connections above seven kw would have to cough up more. He said if the Congress government was really serious about providing relief to the common man and industry it should have waived off power bills for a six month period.
Badal also requested the central government to waive off collecting GST on Covid medicines, concentrators, ventilators and vaccines. “I don’t understand why the centre wants to earn money by taxing life saving medicines and machines to make them more expensive for the people. Even SGPC had to pay GST on purchase of vaccines. This must be waived off immediately”.
SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur while speaking on the occasion said while earlier the ‘sangat’, including NRIs had donated oxygen concentrators, the SGPC hoped to receive 100 ventilators from abroad soon. She said since the people were not getting vaccines and the Punjab government had also failed to purchase vaccines directly from the companies, the centre should allow SGPC to import the same. She also disclosed that nine Covid Centers had been established by the SGPC and that the tenth centre was being inaugurated at Majithia today