Telangana govt to float global tenders to procure Covid-19 vaccines

Amid a shortage in Covid-19 vaccines availability in the state, Telangana government on Tuesday said that it will float global for procuring the vaccine to inoculate the states entire population.

The decision came along with the imposition of a 10-day complete lockdown in the state to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Telangana is the second state to announce the decision of floating a global tender to buy Covid-19 vaccines. Earlier on Monday, Odisha government had decided to buy vaccines globally, Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra had said.

The Odisha Cabinet also allowed the state government to exert pressure on the Centre for exemption of taxes like GST on COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and equipment required for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Domestic supplies and commercial imports of vaccines attract a 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, on Sunday said that GST exemption to domestic supplies and commercial import of COVID vaccines would make the item costlier for consumers as manufacturers would not be able to offset the taxes paid on inputs.

Since the state government has been spending crores of rupees from its own resources for testing, tracing and treating people affected by COVID-19, the Cabinet felt that the Centre should share with it the amount collected as cess and surcharge from petrol, diesel and other items.

Meanwhile, Telangana on Mondayreported4,826 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the tally to over half a million while the death toll stood at2,771 with 35 more casualties, a bulletin said. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 723, followed by Rangareddy (324) and Medchal Malkajgiri (305), the bulletin said. The State has 62,797 active cases and nearly 66,000 samples were tested. The total number of cumulative cases in the State stood at 5,02,187 while with 7,754being cured, the total recoveries were at 4,36,619

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