Telangana's Industry Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday questioned the different pricing of Covid-19 vaccine for the central and state governments. The Minister, who is also the working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), took to Twitter to wonder why there is no uniform pricing for the vaccine.
KTR wants the Centre to absorb the additional cost from PM Cares to help rapid vaccination across the country.
"We agreed for One Nation - One Tax (GST) But now we see, One Nation - Two different Vaccine prices !? For Govt of India @ Rs 150 And State Govts @ Rs 400 Can't the GoI subsume any additional cost from PM CARES & help rapid vaccination across India?," tweeted KTR with hashtag SabkaSaathSabkoVaccine.
Health Minister Eatala Rajender also slammed the Centre for different pricing policy.
"We can't understand this logic of state having to pay Rs 400 for vaccine while Centre pays only Rs 150. Is this the way to tackle the pandemic," he asked while addressing a news conference on Thursday.
The Union government, in phase three of its vaccination policy, said that vaccine manufacturers will sell 50% of the vaccines they produce to the Union government, and the other 50% to states as well as the open market. The pricing for this was left up to the manufacturers. On Wednesday, the Serum Institute of India said that the vaccine would be priced at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 for the private market.
In the first set of procurements of the vaccine by the government, the Union government purchased Covishield, the vaccine produced by SII, at Rs 200. The last order by the government to the company was for a 110 million doses, which is at Rs 150 per dose, and this likely to be disbursed upto July. SII CEO Adar Poonawala said that going forward, any orders the Union government places will also be priced at Rs 400 per dose.
KTR, who is also holding the portfolio of municipal administration, revealed that all the frontline workers in the municipal administration department are being taken care of.
The percentage of vaccination in 141 municipalities is 95.55 and in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) it is 96.19. He said the department was striving for cent per cent vaccination at the earliest.