Plea in SC seeks directions to utilise PM CARES Fund to procure Covid vaccines, oxygen plants

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 A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to utilise the PM CARES Fund to procure doses of coronavirus vaccine, install oxygen plants and other essential equipment for Covid-19 patients amid the raging pandemic in the country.

Advocate Viplava Sharma, who has filed the plea, has urged the top court to direct the central and state governments to ensure that all the private/ charitable hospitals within their respective jurisdiction/administration procure, install and commission facilities to provide medical oxygen to its patients.

The PM Cares Fund was set up on March 27, 2020, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The main objective behind its establishment is to arrange finance to deal with the crisis.

Since its establishment, the PM CARES FUND is being criticised for not having any auditor of the fund. However, the central government later appointed an auditor for the same owing to the political pressure, mainly from the Congress party which often call the fun opaque.

Sharma through his plea has also urged the apex court to direct state governments to set up electric and other crematoriums in all cities and also maintain and improve the condition of existing electric crematoriums.null

According to the ANI, the plea has further challenged the April 24 notification issued by the Centre to the extent it capped the exemption from import duty granted to medical equipment, for a period of three months.

“Three month time period is too short a period from the standpoint of logistics involved in importing this highly sophisticated medical equipment in India by over 300 concerned notable hospitals throughout the country,” read the plea.null

“The central, all states, and Union Territories (UTs) governments and other concerned agencies, to ensure all hospitals within their respective administration to be equipped with sufficient/adequate means and logistics providing medical oxygen, vaccine and medical treatment to COVID patients with judicial accountability of all concerns which is possible only by way of appropriate orders/directions by this court,” it said.

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