The Congress on Sunday alleged that there was a delay in the purchase of ventilators through the PM-CARES fund as well as a lack of transparency in the process.
Addressing a virtual press meet, party spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the government had on March 31 ordered 40,000 ventilators from two domestic manufacturers. Later, he said, the PM-CARES fund allocated Rs 2,000 crore for supply of 50,000 ventilators to government-run Covid hospitals.
“Do the 50,000 ventilators ordered through PM-CARES include the earlier order of 40,000 ventilators by the government or is it separate? As per a PMO statement, only 1,340 ventilators have been delivered till June 23. We want to know where has the PM-CARES money gone and why there is a delay in delivery of ventilators to hospitals” he said.
“As per the PMO’s release, per ventilator price comes out as Rs 4 lakh. At the same time, suppliers like AgVa Health Care had quoted the price of Rs 1.5 lakh per ventilator. When the ventilator is available at Rs 1.5 lakh per piece then why had PM-CARES allocated Rs 4 lakh per ventilator? Where is this extra money going?” Vallabh questioned.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted on the issue. “#PMCares opacity is:1. Putting Indian lives at risk. 2. Ensuring public money is used to buy sub-standard products,” he posted.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 5, 2020
The Congress also asked whether the government had opted for “open tendering and competitive bidding process”.
“Multiple government hospitals of repute and an expert panel of doctors had reported that ventilators supplied by AgVa Health Care are of sub-standard quality… Why is government compromising the health of lakhs of patients with such sub-standard equipment at such a critical time?” Vallabh asked.
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