COVID vaccine: PM asks states to prepare cold chains, Mamata Banerjee agrees & reminds of state’s pending dues

At a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers of all states, the former told the CMs that vaccine distribution must be done effectively and quickly once it is ready to be used. PM Modi said that the country’s priority is vaccine for all. For those states where more cases are being detected again recently, including Delhi, the PM said there is need to increase testing.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at the meeting said that the state will cooperate with the Centre for distribution of the vaccine. She said that there is a cold chain already in place in the state. Yesterday, she had said at a meeting that Bengal government is keen on distributing the vaccine and the Centre should give it direction and support for this.

Significantly, at the meeting, Banerjee also asked the PM to clear the state’s dues on GST (Rs 8,500 crore). She said that the state had spent Rs 4,000 crore to tackle COVID-19 in the state, but had received only Rs 193 crore on this head so far.

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