Udayavni Special

Cong alleges scam in COVID-19 test kits purchase 


Team Udayavani, Apr 27, 2020, 9:09 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday alleged a scam in the purchase of rapid testing kits and demanded a probe into the matter, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring the culprits to book.

The party also urged the government to make public details of all purchases made in the last one month to fight COVID-19.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said nobody could imagine one would profiteer from the immeasurable suffering of millions, saying the “scam was an insult to every Indian.

“That any human being would try and profiteer from the immeasurable suffering of millions of his brothers and sisters, is beyond belief and comprehension. This scam is an insult to every Indian. I urge the PM to act swiftly to bring the corrupt to justice,” he said on Twitter.

He said one detests and feels ashamed of such a corrupt mindset in such times of crisis.

“The country will never pardon them,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it was an extremely serious issue that people indulged in huge profiteering in times of crisis, noting that it hurts the fight against COVID-19.

He asked the government to ensure that huge profiteering in procurement of equipment for fighting COVID-19 be stopped immediately and action taken against the corrupt.

“We would demand an immediate probe into this matter and ask the government to put an end to this kind of profiteering. There seems to be absolute anarchy in procurement of equipment for fighting COVID-19,” Tewari said at a press conference via video conferencing.

“We would like to demand from the health ministry and the government to make public all procurements made with regard to equipment to fight COVID-19 for testing, PPEs and ventilators. All those transactions must be transparently placed in public domain,” he said.

Referring to a company engaged in supply of testing kits, the Congress leader alleged that 5 lakh kits purchased at Rs 245 each from China were being sold to ICMR at Rs 600 each, and to Tamil Nadu government at Rs 400 each.

He said in a transaction of Rs 30 crore, the arbitrage earned by companies is Rs 18.75 crore, almost two-third of the cost of transaction.

Tewari said the matter came to light in a petition before the Delhi High Court by a company supplying such equipment.

“This is an extremely serious matter which hurts the fight of India against COVID-19. Our country’s resources are scarce and we have to optimise the resources and not allow companies to make arbitrage of over 60 per cent in these transactions, he said.

 

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