‘500 out of 1,400 ventilators supplied by Centre not even opened’.
Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy refuted the allegations of the Telangana government by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and some of his Cabinet colleagues that the Centre was discriminating against the State in release of funds and extension of cooperation, including in the fight against COVID.
He gave detailed account of funds released by the Centre for various programmes, supply of food grains to the poor for the last eight months and supply of material and medicines to fight the pandemic and offered to prove it if either the Chief Minister or any other Minister seeks to differ on any of the aspects spoken about by him on Friday.
The Union Minister addressed a virtual press conference on Friday, following the remarks of the Chief Minister and other Ministers in the Assembly on Wednesday and Thursday on devolution of funds and other cooperation extended by the Centre stating there was a huge gap in the Centre’s claims and what the State received practically.
“From supply of N95 masks, PPE kits, HCQ tablets, COVID testing kits and supply of ventilators to release of ₹350 crore funds to fight the virus, the Centre has been doing everything it can to help Telangana along with other states. I am glad that Mr. KCR at least admitted the fact on release of funds. Of the 1,400 ventilators sent by the Centre to Telangana, about 500 have not even been opened so far though people are spending huge amounts of money for ventilator facility to COVID patients in private hospitals,” the Union Minister said.
He alleged that the State government had failed to build confidence among people on the public healthcare sector and to cover up its mistakes it was trying to blame the Centre in tackling COVID. Even as a representative of the Centre, he had never criticised the public health facilities in the State, he noted.
The Centre had also sanctioned 168 basti dawakhanas for the State but its participation was not even once acknowledged by the State government, Mr. Kishan Reddy said, adding that there were several such welfare schemes implemented in the State by the Centre. “Even for KCR kits, ₹6,000 per kit is being borne by the Centre but the State has not deemed it fit to include PM’s name for the kit,” he pointed out.
Stating that Telangana was among only very few states not taking part in Ayushman Bharat scheme, he sought to know why the State had not included COVID under Arogyasri so far.