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Why Rs 150 for you, 300-400 for states? SC questions Centre on pricing disparity of COVID-19 vaccines

The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the federal government on differential pricing of the COVID-19 vaccines to central and state authorities. Expressing its reservation on the worth disparity, a bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice LN Rao and Justice S Ravindra Bhat requested the Centre to not enable non-public producers to dictate the pricing and distribution of vaccines.

“Do not leave the vaccine pricing and distribution to the manufactures, This is equity over public goods. You need to pick up the responsibility for this,” the court mentioned. 

Noting that the federal government additionally funded the event of the vaccines, it additionally owns them.

“Rs 4500 crores were funded to the organisation for the development of the vaccine. Then we also own the product!” Justice Bhat mentioned.

“The same manufacturer is saying Rs 150 to you and 300-400 to the states! At a bulk level, the price difference will be 30,000 to 40,000 crores. Why must the nation pay this? This can be used elsewhere! Why can’t the central government get in bulk and then the states have it picked up?” he added.

In its final listening to on April 27, the bench had requested the state governments to file a report on their well being infrastructure and didn’t restrain the High Courts from passing any order on COVID-19.

The apex courtroom requested the state governments to file replies by Thursday with regard to their well being infrastructure and mentioned that the High Courts aren’t restrained from passing any instructions as they’re listening to the circumstances of their respective states they usually know the bottom scenario higher.

The bench had requested the central authorities to clarify the premise and rationale behind the pricing of anti-Covid vaccines and different mandatory objects.

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