The centre needs to take the responsibility of vaccinating all the people in the country as part of the measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic and it cannot shirk its responsibility, former Governor of RBI C Rangarajan said on Thursday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a virtual conference organised by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education here, he said it involves a lot of expenditure, the centre has to take up universal vaccination while states need to spend on other medical infrastructure such as improving hospitals, recruiting more medical staff.
“Vaccination is important. It has to be universal.”
“Therefore it is the responsibility of the government and I would say the central government to take on itself the expenditure which areto be incurred in terms of vaccinating the people,” the former Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council said.
“I think the responsibility of the government is very clear or the government of India is very clear and it should not shirk this responsibility. I know this will involve a great deal of expenditure that has to be borne and that is the responsibility clearly of the government of India,” he said.
Later, talking to PTI, he said that since vaccination should be the centre’s responsibility, the question of different pricing of vaccines for different sectors would not arise.
Currently there are three levels of pricing fixed by the COVID-19 vaccine makers-central, state government and private supplies.
“I am saying the vaccination is the responsibility of the central government. The Central government should bear all the cost. Let them negotiate and let them get a price and distribute it,” he added.
Mr Rangarajan said in order to revive the slumped economy, the governments both centre and states need to increase their expenditure.