The Congress president urges the government to waive GST on medicine and medical equipment, provide ₹6,000 per month to the needy families, among other things.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi at an address to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has said that the government must reconsider its priority for vaccine candidates by reducing the immunisation age to 25 years and above especially for those in this age group with comorbidities.
The CWC met on Saturday to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.
Ms. Gandhi said that the second wave of COVID- 19 had caught us off guard once again, despite the fact that the government had an year to prepare.
She also urged the government not to take adversarial position. “Let us ensure that the suggestions our party puts forward are considered by the government of India in the spirit of true democratic traditions. Taking on these challenging times as Indians, rather than as political opponents, will be true Rajadharma,” Ms. Gandhi added.
She has urged the government to waive GST on medicine and medical equipment required to fight COVID-19, provide ₹6,000 per month of financial assistance to the needy families and ensure safe transportation for the migrant workers who have already started returning home due to partial lockdowns in various cities.
She said the high GST rate was also flagged by the Congress Chief Ministers in a recent meeting with her. Drugs like Remdesivir and medical oxygen as also other basic supplements were subjected to GST @ 12%. Even basic equipment like oxymeters and life-saving critical equipment like ventilators were subjected to 20% GST. “In the current state of affairs, this is inhuman and untenable,” she added.
Fresh partial curfews and travel restrictions to control the situation would once again restrict economy activity, pushing the daily wagers to an edge, Ms. Gandhi pointed out. “It is, therefore, imperative to provide monthly income support and transfer an amount of ₹6,000 in every eligible citizen’s account,” she said.
The government, she said, should also be mindful of the fact that the reverse migration had once again started and it was critical to arrange safe transportation and suitable rehabilitation for such workers.