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'Centre In Better Position To Negotiate Terms Of Procurement Of Covid Vax'

Reversing a policy where states competed for vaccine supplies for certain age categories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 announced that the central government will procure vaccines for all adults.

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The central government is in a better position to negotiate the terms of procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and the current vaccine buying policy shows success of cooperative federalism, 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh said on Thursday.

He said a complication which was created earlier was on account of some states believing that they could do a much better job than what the central government could do.

'In the end it's the central government which should have been and was always in a much better position to do so. It was a learning curve, but I think we have reached the right equilibrium in this,' he said at a NCAER webinar.

Initially, Singh said, it was the states which wanted the central government to delegate the vaccine procurement to the states and when that was done, states found themselves not in a position to persuade the vaccine manufacturers to give directly to the states on account of various issues.

'In the end, what has succeeded is cooperative federalism,' he said adding 'the central government is in a much better position negotiate the best conditions and secure the procurement of vaccines involves a interplay of foreign policy, diplomacy, negotiating skills, pricing, marketing'.

Reversing a policy where states competed for vaccine supplies for certain age categories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 announced that the central government will procure vaccines for all adults.

(PTI)