New Delhi [India], June 18 (ANI): Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday reiterated his earlier charge that the Punjab government was profiteering on COVID-19 vaccines, stating that profiteering figure is much higher than reported on 80 per cent procurement of Covishield.
"The Punjab Government had said that they had procured 4.29 lakh doses of Covishield at Rs 13.25 crore, which on average costs Rs 309 per dose. They had also procured 1,14,190 doses of Covaxin at Rs 4.7 crore, which on average costs Rs 412 per dose. The profiteering figure is much higher than reported on 80 per cent procurement of Covishield," said the Union Minister while speaking to the media.
Hitting out at the Congress and Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu over the "COVID-19 vaccine scam" in the state, he said: "Congress leaders are not on the same page. Some of them think profiteering on centrally supplied medicines is legitimate. The Health Minister of the Punjab Government abstained all responsibility for this scam!"
Hailing the Central government, he said the Prime Minister has sanctioned 41 oxygen plants for Punjab.
"333 Sikhs were removed from the government blacklist. We gave sanctuary to thousands of our brothers and sisters through Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) law. Langar service in all Gurdwaras was exempted from GST," he said.
Puri's remarks came against the backdrop of allegations by the Opposition about COVID-19 vaccines being sold to private hospitals at higher prices by the Punjab government for profit.
Earlier, after the allegations of "diverting" Covaxin doses at "hefty margins" had surfaced in the media, Punjab Government had withdrawn its order of providing "one-time" limited vaccine doses to the 18-44 age group population through private hospitals.
On farmers' agitation, Puri said that the Centre is ready to reachout to farmers to resolve the impasse.
"The Prime Minister and his government have made it clear that if you have any doubt regarding farm laws, we are ready to sit with you. We are open to suggestions. It is very unfortunate that we are getting reports of rape from protest site. It must be probed," he asserted. (ANI)