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India Says Only 1,340 Ventilators Delivered to States as Part of Controversial PMCARES Fund

Sputnik News

09:14 GMT 23.06.2020(updated 10:14 GMT 23.06.2020)

New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a dedicated COVID-19 relief fund named PMCARES in March. However, the fund has come under fire from the opposition Congress party who say it lacks transparency.

The Indian government said on Tuesday that a total of 50,000 Made in India ventilators have been made under the PMCARES Fund, aimed at combating the impact of the coronavirus in India.

But only 2,923 have so far been manufactured and only 1,340 have been delivered to States such as Delhi and Maharashtra.

The government also clarified the allocation of money for various relief measures.

"PM CARES Fund Trust has allocated $266 million (INR 20,000 million) for supply of 50,000 'Made-in-India' ventilators to government run COVID hospitals in all States/UTs. Further, a sum of $133 million (INR 10,000 million) has been allocated for the welfare of migrant labourers," the government said in a statement.

The information comes after ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians tweeted a photo of a single ventilator with a PM CARES label and portrayed it as proof of the "efficient" working of the fund.

The row further intensified when the government roped in a Delhi-based private accountancy firm to audit the fund.

The Opposition parties, including the former chief of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, demanded an audit of PMCARES owing to the huge donations it has received from people across the country.

A Right to Information plea was also filed demanding fund transparency, to which the government refused to comply. A petition challenging the government's reply has been filed in a Delhi court.


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