RAIPUR: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said his government will bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccination in Chhattisgarh if the Centre refuses to do the same.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the governor's address in the Assembly, Baghel said, instead of focusing on only three crore people, the Centre should provide free coronavirus vaccine to all 135 crore people in India.
"Are you going to give free vaccines to Bihar only? People of Chhattisgarh have caused loss to you (by electing Congress) so you will not give free vaccine here? We don't have a dearth of funds. We have kept (funds) for it," he said.
"If the Union government refuses (to provide free vaccine to all), then we would facilitate COVID vaccination of people in the state at our own expenses," Baghel said.
Reiterating his government's decision to use Covaxin vaccine in the state only after its third phase of trial, the CM questioned why Covaxin had been administers to only one per cent of people inoculated in 11 states so far.
Baghel said the Central government had earlier agreed to take 60 lakh tonnes of rice from Chhattisgarh in the central pool for the Kharif marketing year 2020-21, but, as of now, permission has been given to deposit only 24 lakh tonnes.
He asked the opposition BJP to take up the matter with the Centre.
The CM said his government's new industrial policy enacted in 2019 ensured the establishment of 1,249 units in the state, while 104 MoUs signed for mega industrial projects would lead to a capital investment of Rs 42,417 crore.
"We have set a target to establish 200 food parks and locations for 111 have been identified," he added.