PM Chairs COVID Review Meeting Via Video Conferencing

Story Highlights
  • PM chairs meeting to assess health situation across the nation.
  • Stressed on early vaccination of children.
  • Also urged states to cut down VAT on fuel.

New Delhi: PM Modi chairing a COVID-19 review meeting on Wednesday, urged citizens not to drop their guards as sprawlling cases of virus were reported from the national capital. However, he said that despite the threat India is still in a better situation. Warning that the COVID challenge is not over, he said, “Despite managing the Covid crisis well as compared to other countries, we can see an uptick in cases in states now. We have to stay alert.”

Underscoring the importance of vaccination he pressed on administering vaccine to every eligible child at the earliest. He also stressed the need to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour in public placed.

PM Modi also urged states to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel “in the spirit of cooperative federalism”. Listing fuel prices in cities across the country, PM Modi pointed out that states which had lowered VAT have lower fuel prices.”I am not criticising anyone, just discussing,” the PM said while listing out the states that did not reduce VAT on fuel during the steep hikes.

He directly appealed to the Chief Ministers to reduce state fuel tax and pass on the benefit to the citizens and pointed out that 42 per cent of the Centre’s revenues go to the states. “I request all states that in a time of global crises, we should follow the spirit of cooperative federalism and work together as a team,” he said. 

The review meeting was attended by several chief ministers including West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann.

The meeting came in the backdrop of a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital and ite neighborhood. Several states revoked mask mandate and declared to impose a fine on those violating rules.

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