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Walkout by Opposition Over Cattle Vaccine

07 March 2018

INDIA - Accusing the state government of favouring one company in the contract for cattle vaccines for foot and mouth disease, the Opposition staged a walkout in the assembly.

The Times of India reports that with tenders called seven times, procurement of the vaccine was delayed. The contract was finally awarded to a private company Biovet.

Opposition leaders rejected animal husbandry minister Mahadev Jankar’s reply of no irregularities.

"The tendering process was transparent. The e-tender was issued several times because of technical problems," Mr Jankar said.

"I suggest in the future, the state manufactures the vaccine itself. The Centre should provide funds worth Rs 150 crore," he said. He also said the process of vaccination had begun.

NCP leader Ajit Pawar asked why the bid of Indian Immunologicals, a subsidiary of the Centre’s National Dairy Development Board was rejected.

"The company which finally got the tender is providing the same vaccine at a cheaper rate in other states. They have given it to Maharashtra at Rs 7.70 but in Punjab it is Rs 6.25," Mr Pawar claimed.

"The government invited the tender 7 times until it could go to the company it favoured," alleged Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.

Congress leader Vijay Waddettiwar said that farmers had suffered as a result of the vaccine not being administered to 2 crore cattle.

"Their milk production is affected and the animals cannot be used for farming because they are susceptible to disease," Mr Pawar added.

Earlier, the Opposition has alleged that the lack of vaccination against the disease could have led to a decline in agricultural and dairy exports worth Rs 20,000 crore in the country.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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