Govt can purchase Covid vaccine spending entire amount in treasury: Thomas Isaac
Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac stated that the state government is capable of purchasing Covid vaccine with the Rs 3000 crore remaining in the treasury. The minister said this while reacting to the criticism that Vaccine Challenge is being conducted even after declaring it for free in budget.
The revenue will only decrease during the Covid times. The people of Kerala decided to stand by the government realising this and that’s how Vaccine Challenge was initiated, he said. The Vaccine Challenge was announced by the public and not by the government. BJP and Opposition Leader do not have such a civic sense, he said.
The total expenditure in the budget is Rs 1.6 lakh crore. So, the fund allocated for any item should be reduced or revenue should be increased. The assembly approved the budget suggestion to provide Covid vaccine for free, the minister said.
During the budget, we could not calculate how much amount was required for this. As per the present situation, Rs 1300 crore is needed. But if the vaccine price is increased, more amount will be required, he added.
As per reports, Covaxin costs Rs 600. We will protest against the vaccine price hike. If the Centre did not heed to our requests, the state will purchase vaccine despite its price and distribute it for free to the public, the minister said.