Complaints that hundreds of ventilators purchased through Narendra Modi’s signature Covid-19 recovery fund are not working, have raised concerns about transparency and corruption around how the charity spends its money.
PM Cares was set up in March last year by the Indian Prime Minister as a public charitable fund to “provide relief to those affected” during disasters. Modi heads the fund in his official capacity, along with three cabinet members who act as trustees.
The fund attracted in the five days since its launch more than 30 billion rupees ($423 million) in donations from business leaders such as Mukesh Ambani and Indian state-owned companies.
Donations continued to flow from within the country as well as from abroad from figures as diverse as the Dalai Lama and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin during the disastrous second wave in India. But critics complain about the lack of transparency about how PM Cares spends his donations.
Activists also questioned why PM Cares was created as another facility, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, already in existence, serving a similar purpose.
The controversy has grown as state governments struggle to provide health care during the pandemic that has infected more than 28 million people and More than 335,000 killing.
The Indian government maintains that PM Cares is not a public authority and is therefore not required to disclose donors or spending in detail.
A government spokesperson said on Wednesday that “Prime Minister Cares is fully transparent. Expenditures incurred under PM Cares have been made transparently.” [the] public domain.”
The fund has not yet announced the audited results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
“We have learned that unless there is openness and public scrutiny, the money often does not reach the people it is targeting,” said Anjali Bhardwaj, a New Delhi-based anti-corruption activist. “It leads to misappropriation, abuse and corruption.”
PM Cares . uses mody picture Its press releases are published on Government of India websites. Some government websites have a popup asking visitors to donate.
According to PM Cares website, the government has allocated Rs 20 billion to buy 50,000 “Made in India” ventilators, Rs 10 billion for migrant workers affected by post-lockdown job losses and Rs 1 billion to develop vaccines. No other details were provided.
“We rely on the information they provide [PM Cares] “Give us, really there are no disclosures whatsoever,” said Saket Gokhale, a transparency campaigner who has petitioned the Supreme Court to reveal Prime Minister Kerz’s spending. He added that the fund was “opaque, which is a big red flag.”
Several opposition-controlled states have complained that ventilators purchased with PM Cares funds were defective or not properly installed in hospitals, and thus could not be used.
“The flow of oxygen is erratic. The sergeant is not working. It stops suddenly,” Rajasthan’s health minister, Raju Sharma, said. “This huge amount has been spent in purchasing these ventilators but they cannot be used.”
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Raj Bahadur, the health advisor to the Punjab government, said 237 of the 320 ventilators donated by Chief Minister Kariz to the state were faulty.
“The respirators are not working at the required levels, and I’m sure there are some flaws,” Bahadur said.
New Delhi said states had not installed all donated ventilators and that the central government had conducted “active follow-up” to help use life-saving machines.
The Bombay High Court said last week that disabled ventilators at government hospitals in Aurangabad, in Maharashtra, were “serious matter“.
“If the PM Cares fund is to be used to provide ventilators, it must be ventilators worthy of medical use,” the judges added.
However, the government has provided an affidavit denial That Aurangabad fans made by manufacturer Jyoti CNC were supplied by PM Cares.