Tamil Nadu

Parties suggest using CSR funds for vaccination

AIADMK MP Raveendranath Kumar taking part in the virtual meeting.  

At a virtual all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the floor leaders of all political parties of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country and vaccine development, the DMK suggested that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from private companies could be used to share the cost of vaccination programmes, while the AIADMK urged the Centre to share the proposed vaccination plan with the States.

During his speech in the meeting, DMK MP and former Union Minister T.R. Baalu pointed out the cost of probable vaccines and said that Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) too should share costs with the Centre. “As for private companies, the Centre should issue orders that the mandatory spending of CSR funds should be allotted completely towards vaccination.”

The Lok Sabha MP from Sriperumbudur also stressed the need for creating necessary infrastructure such as cold storage facilities in all district headquarters for the vaccination programme.

Pointing out that two of the several vaccine candidates from across the world are from India, including AZD 1222 of the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin of the Bharat Biotech and the National Institute of Virology, Mr. Baalu said, “The Centre and the Prime Minister are to be commended for this specific achievement.”

Representing the AIADMK, Lok Sabha MP from Theni O.P. Raveendranath Kumar suggested that all States should continue the policy of aggressive RT-PCR testing for the next few months.

Vaccination plan

“The implementation plan proposed by the Centre for vaccination should be shared with the State governments. Subjects regarding the procurement of vaccines, syringes and cold storage transportation issues, etc. need to be clarified in advance whether they will be handled entirely by the Centre or whether some aspects have to be done by the States,” he said. The States must be notified whether consignments would be delivered at one place or in the districts so that cold chain transportation could be adequately planned in advance .

He thanked the Prime Minister for convening the meeting to discuss matters related to COVID-19 management. “I would like to emphasise that our Tamil Nadu is fully geared up to continue with the COVID-19 control and prevention works, along with the Centre. I wish to reassure that Tamil Nadu shall carry out the vaccination drive with utmost diligence as and when it is made available,” he said.

Mr. Baalu flagged the ongoing protests during the meeting and urged Mr. Modi to invite them for talks. Soon after he raised the issue, the organisers cut short Mr. Baalu’s speech and said it was not part of the agenda.

During the virtual all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the floor leaders of all political parties of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country and vaccine development, Mr. Baalu spoke on the subject and in the end took up the farmers’ issue.

Floor leaders from every political party, which had representation in both Houses of Parliament, were invited for the meeting. But only Mr. Baalu and AIADMK MP O.P. Raveendranath Kumar spoke on behalf of their parties from Tamil Nadu as only leaders of parties, which had at least 10 MPs in both the Houses, were allowed to speak.

The DMK has 31 MPs and AIADMK 10 MPs, in both Houses of Parliament.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 9:34:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/parties-suggest-using-csr-funds-for-vaccination/article33254200.ece

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