Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged the Central government to consult with the state before fixing priorities for Covid vaccination, as it is a matter involving the entire population.

With the portal created by the Centre for registration of health care and frontline workers frozen, several such workers of the state willing for vaccination registration have been left behind, he pointed out, calling upon the Union government to allow entry of such workers to improve the vaccination drive.

In his circulated speech at Niti Aayog meeting, the CM also requested the Centre to allow 100 per cent use of available State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) towards expenditure for Covid management, instead of the present ceiling of 50 per cent.

Further, in the event of SDRF yearly budget being exceeded due to enhanced expenditure on Covid related matters, the state may also be allowed to utilise previous years available funds, he suggested.

Amarinder also urged the Central government to provide immediate financial assistance of at least Rs 300 Crore to upgrade health infrastructure, equipment and other healthcare needs (medicines and consumables etc.) in view of the pandemic.

For effective service delivery at health and wellness centres, liberal grants for strengthening of infrastructure, drugs and diagnostic may be provided by the Centre to strengthen the state’s efforts to provide comprehensive primary health care services through sub centres, primary health centres with a linkage to secondary health care services, especially during the Covid period, said CM.

He also sought creation of a ‘Water Quality Kosh’ in every state to enable Punjab to achieve the vision of providing potable water to each rural household on a sustainable basis. Amarinder also requested GoI to consider the Gurdaspur Medical College project on priority to provide better healthcare in the border district.