States & UTs

    Kerala Guv assures vaccine will be public good, Oppn 'disappointed' at address

    April20/ 2022
    Last Updated:

    Thiruvananthapuram: In the nearly two-hour-long address, Khan complimented the Vijayan government which got a second term.

    "My government will continue to implement the welfare and development programmes of the previous government and is committed to lead the state towards far reaching growth in all sectors of the economy benefitting all sections of the society. The fruits of economic growth shall bypass none. There shall not be a divide in the society with some of its sections being marginalised. There shall be no divide on the digital front either. The policies and programmes of my government will always have these goals built into them," he said.

    Khan stressed that preventive vaccine against Covid shall be treated as a public good, "the access to which shall be non-rivalled and non-excludible".

    "Due to the policy of differential pricing of vaccines, the additional cost to the State exchequer will be at least Rs 1,000 crore. Despite the fiscal constraints, my government has stepped forward to meet these fresh commitments by floating a global tender for the procurement of three crore doses vaccines as well as by placing orders with domestic manufacturers for one crore doses," he said.

    Complimenting the state for achieving high levels of plan and social sector spending, including on health, in the last financial year through higher levels of borrowing, he pointed out that it has pushed the state's debt to gross state domestic product (GSDP) ratio to over 36 per cent.

    "Consequent to the strident demand of the states including Kerala, the Union government relented to raise the annual borrowing limit from 3 to 5 percent of the GSDP. However, only 0.5 percent of this additional borrowing limit was unconditional. Though my government has its considered opinion on the imposition of conditionalities in this as they run counter to the basic principles of co-operative federalism, we agreed to implement the reforms suggested, in a manner, which did not adversely affect the citizens. It is noteworthy that we have been successful in getting the entire 1.5 percent additional borrowing limit based on conditionalities relating to the power sector, public distribution system ('one nation one ration card'), ease of doing business" and urban sector," said Khan.

    New Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said they are disappointed that there has been nothing with regards to the new policies to be adopted in the wake of the pandemic situation in areas like health, education and disaster management.

    "The second wave has hit us very badly and there are reports of a third wave and experts points that it could be the children which could turn the victims. We really expected in the address there would be a new health policy on tackling Covid, but it was not there," he said.

    He also pointed out that the last academic year saw students going for online education and given the pandemic situation, this new academic year is also going to be the same like last year.

    "Parents are deeply concerned about the way things are going on in the education sector, as online education has its lacunae and we all expected that there would be new education policy matching the pandemic situation. Likewise the state has been experiencing a series of natural disasters starting from the unprecedented floods in 2018, 2019 and this time also, the coastal areas have been badly hit and more heavy rains are predicted. But sadly, despite going through all such disasters in the past, we expected that the new government will have a new policy towards disaster management, but it has not been there and hence on these three counts, we feel really disappointed," he added.

    With the Covid situation continuing, the first session of the Assembly has been curtailed by four days and will end on June 10.


    Categories :States & UTsTags :