Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meetings for well over five hours yesterday reviewing select ministries and the work done by them during the Covid crisis. The review meeting comes days after the Prime Minister announced that the centre would provide vaccines free of charge to all above 18 from June 21 and, in a policy reversal, would also take back control of vaccination from states.
The meeting, sources say, began at 5 pm and continued till 10 in the night. BJP President JP Nadda was also present at the meeting held at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, the Prime Minister’s residence.
The ministries, seven in all, made brief presentations on various decisions taken by them, sources in the government said.
Under review were Petroleum Ministry, Steel Ministry, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Heavy Industries and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
The discussion, say sources, also revolved around the kind of schemes that the ministries can initiate.
Usually, the Council of Ministers meets after the Cabinet meeting every month. But this time, the meeting was held independently.
The meetings come on the back of withering criticism against PM Modi’s government for the handling of India’s deadly second virus wave and a slow vaccine roll-out.
The country – which has the second-highest number of Covid cases in the world – has seen its health infrastructure break down over the past two months, with major cities running out of oxygen and hospitals overwhelmed with patients.
While the pace of infections has been slowing recently, India has lost 3,63,079 citizens from COVID-19, according to the latest government data.