Testing Kit, Ventilator and Other Equipment Should Be Made Available Through Central Government: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur: Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot has said that the Central Government should centrally purchase testing kit, ventilators and other medical equipments to fight with Covid-19 pandemic and make them available to the States. This will help the State Governments to purchase them easily, besides there will be no competition between the States and States will get test kit and equipments that are as per the guidelines of ICMR.

Shri Gehlot was discussing with the five-member team that has come from the Centre and with the officers of the State through video conference on Tuesday. He said, “I had requested Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in this regard during the video conference.” He said the test results of Rapid Test Kit recently procured from China are not accurate, which is a subject of concern. A research team of SMS Medical College and Rajasthan University of Health Sciences is checking this Rapid Test Kit. Decision about this test kit will be taken after getting the report of the research team and guidelines from ICMR.

Centre Should Give Package to States without Any Delay

Chief Minister said that States have put in all their resources to stop spreading of coronavirus infection and financial condition of maximum States is not good due to heavy revenue deficit because of the lockdown. The Central Government in such situation should announce a big package to help the States in form of the grant. RBI has increased Wage and Means advance by 60% but it should be made interest free. Apart from this, the State Governments should be granted moratorium for three months on the forthcoming instalments of the outstanding loan. There is also a need to increase the borrowing capacity of the States to 5% from 3%. He said the Prime Minster has been requested in this regard through letters and during the video conference.

Needy People Were Compensated With Rs. 2500

Shri Gehlot said that the State Government in the initial phase of spreading of Covid-19 infection had announced lockdown in the State from March 22 prior to the announcement made by the Central Government. Besides this, the State government looking to the livelihood problems of roadside vendors, rickshaw pullers, helpless people, nomads and daily wagers had compensated by putting Rs 2,500 in the account of needy people so that their requirement is fulfilled. Those people who did not have bank account were given cash through district collector. The State Government had provided kits containing ration item and food packets to the needy people.

MLA Funds Will Be Spent On Improving Health Services

Shri Gehlot said that instead of deferring MLA Funds, the State Government is planning to spend the funds for the next two years on improving the health services to fight against Covid-19. He said, “Our Government is making efforts for the betterment of every section and taking all possible steps to help the deprived people, but the States should be given help on behalf of the Centre without any delay to bring back the economy on tracks.” He said while fighting with Covid-19, the State Government is focusing on strengthening the basic infrastructure of medical and health sector. Work is being done to increase labs, ICU beds and number of ventilators. Spirit of mutual help has developed while fighting with corona crisis, he added.

Centre Should Show Sensitivity In Regard To Migrant Labourers

Chief Minister said that due to lockdown migrants including Rajasthani labourers are caught in various States and they should get one chance to go to their homes. He said, “I have spoken to Union Home Minister in this regard on the phone and he has assured to take positive steps.” Many people including migrant labourers are caught in different parts of the country including Rajasthan. They are disappointed and desperate and want to go to their homes once. The Central Government should take fair decision about them with sensitivity, Shri Gehlot said.

States Should Be Released More Wheat of Ration

Shri Gehlot said that godowns of Food Corporation of India are full of wheat. The Central Government should provide wheat for such people who do not have ration card and whose name is not in National Food Security Scheme, so that nobody has to sleep hungry. He requested the Centre to take positive decision on the proposal of releasing more wheat for PDS to the States looking increased demand during the lockdown.

Chief Minister expressed hope that the team sent by the Centre will include all these points in its report. He said the central team in its report would include all the efforts made by the State Government so far in curbing the spread of corona infection and would play positive role in getting grant and other resources from the Centre to fight this pandemic.

Shri Sanjiv Kaushik, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, was leading the Central team along with Bindu Tewari, Director, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harshal Salve, Community Medicine from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), NDMA Joint Advisor Shri SK Jena and Shri Devendra S Uikey, Deputy Secretary in Food and Civil Supply Department were the members of the team.

Medical and Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma, Chief Secretary Shri DB Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary Home Shri Rajeeva Swarup, Additional Chief Secretary Medical and Health Shri Rohit Kumar Singh and other officers were present during the video conference on behalf of the State Government.