Centre can supply vaccines with Rs 35K cr budget allocation: Palaniswami

Pointing out the Rs 35,000 crore provided in 2021-22 Union Budget for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said the Central government can purchase and supply the vaccine to the states.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Palaniswami said the Central government’s new policy that states have to procure Covid-19 vaccines from the manufacturers is unfair since it places a higher financial burden on the states.

Citing the Rs 35,000 crore budgetary provision, he said states have a legitimate expectation that the Centre would supply the Covid-19 for vaccination phase 3.

“It is also iniquitous since the state governments have considerably less fiscal resources at their command than the Central government,” Palaniswami told Modi in the letter.

“Further, the Government of India could also explore alternative sources of supply of vaccine including possible imports to ensure that the vaccine roll out takes place across the country smoothly and expeditiously in the coming weeks,” Palaniswami added.