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Cong wants PM to sack commerce minster, secretary for 'allowing export of masks, ventilators'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Congress on Monday demanded the dismissal of Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and the ministry's secretary for "allowing the export of masks and ventilators" till March 19 despite WHO caution on the coronavirus outbreak much earlier.

"Dear PM, Should you not sack Union Commerce Minister and Commerce Secretary for permitting exports of ventilators, surgical masks, face masks, raw material for masks/coveralls uptill March 19," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

He said the country's commerce minister and secretary should be dismissed and a detailed inquiry be conducted.

"Why was such a criminal conduct allowed? There should also be a criminal case lodged. We hope the prime minister will take action in this hour of crisis" he said.

"Was this not playing with the health of doctors and paramedics staff and with Coronavirus patients who need ventilators. How was their export allowed?" Surjewala said.

"This is criminal as our own doctors, nurses, patients are facing acute shortage of masks and other equipment, besides ventilators," he said.

"Their health was being played with by the Government of India. Doctors need surgical masks and patients of coronavirus needed ventilators," he said.

BJP leader Amit Malviya has already said that the government had banned the export of medical equipment linked to combating coronavirus on January 31, much before any WHO advisory came.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 20:26 IST