On Tuesday, after the first batch of ventilators procured using the PM CARES fund were made available to hospitals, Congress supporters on Twitter huddled up to spread wild conspiracy theories casting aspersions that there is a ‘ventilator scam’ underway even as India fights Chinese coronavirus as well as soldiers at the border.
One Saket Gokhale was one of the first to float the conspiracy theory. In a seven part thread, Gokhale tweeted how Rs 750+ crore have gone ‘missing’ from the funds allotted for procuring ventilators under the PM CARES fund.
Stunning details of embezzlement of 750+ crores by PM CARES:— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) June 16, 2020
Y’all must’ve seen this ventilator with PM CARES sticker that has been promoted by the BJP.
Read on to know how a whopping 750+ crores have been stolen by PM Modi & BJP with these ventilators.
The ventilator model Skanray CV200 procured from Mysuru based Skanray Technologies. Gokhale cast aspersions that since Skanray Technologies is licensed partner for manufacturing Philips ventilators, Skanray is passing off the same ‘Philips CV200’ model as made in India model. He then fished out a ‘price list’ from IndiaMart, an e-commerce portal, for ‘Philips CV200’ model which claimed how it is sold on IndiaMart at Rs 2.5 lakh per unit.
So basically, the original Philips CV200 model ventilator is being produced in India by Skanray – a Mysore based co.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) June 16, 2020
Now, let’s check the market price of CV200 ventilator.
On IndiaMart, it’s sold at 2.5 lakhs/piece.
This is the market price sans discount – 2.5 lakh
So now, Gokhale does some basic high school math and says how out of the Rs 2,000 crore out of Rs 3,100 crore PM CARES fund allotted for procurement of 50,000 ventilators, government is paying Rs 4,00,000 instead of Rs 2.5 lakh.
Soon, other Congress minions spread the same as gospel truth and claimed how there’s a ‘ventilator scam’ underway.
Pro Aam Aadmi Party writers also thought this is a critical thread.
Ventilator Scam https://t.co/fehHppG3Iv— Dushyant (@atti_cus) June 17, 2020
Kothari is the ‘Managing Editor of ‘The Logical Indian’ which started as an Arvind Kejriwal fan page on Facebook. Soon, many lapped up Gokhale’s fantasy peddled as fact.
Critical thread on PM CARES. https://t.co/Fd1cpFXyDV— Shweta Kothari (@Shwkothari) June 16, 2020
Shocking if true! https://t.co/jFJkavXpEy— N Sai Balaji (@nsaibalaji) June 16, 2020
Interesting thread…… Must go through guys !!! https://t.co/M0JewnNr7Y— Shekhar Mishra (@incshekhar) June 16, 2020
Now, before we get into the facts, here’s some little trivia for Gokhale.
“Philips CV200” which Gokhale claims is the one passed off as Skanray ventilator is actually selling for Rs 11 lakh a piece.
Gokhale’s twitter thread was refuted by the CMD of BEL (Bharat Electronic Limited), a Professional Defence electronics company in India which is a Navaratna defence Public sector under Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
CV200 manufactured by BEL is a high-end ventilator with 2-hour built-in battery backup, a standalone medical grade compressor having 30 minutes UPS backup, built-in blender for FIO2 settings and several safety features.— CMD BEL (@cmdbel) June 17, 2020
The BEL CMD said how the information peddled in the series of tweets is fabricated as as per their knowledge Philips does not manufacture any such model. “It appears as though a fictitious product under the brand name of Philips is being promoted on virtual marketplace,” he said. At a time when the CMD of the PSU has more crucial things to do than respond to social media warriors, he explained how the CV200 is a high-end ventilator with 2-hour built-in battery backup and has several other safety features.
CV200 ventilator is priced competitively considering its configuration, features and performance. BEL’s CV200 ventilator bears the PM CARES logo to ensure traceability and accountability, as it is being procured under this Fund.— CMD BEL (@cmdbel) June 17, 2020
“The components used for manufacture are from reputed global medical grade components supply-chain partners. CV200 ventilator is priced competitively considering its configuration, features and performance,” he said. The CMD further added that the ventilators bear the PM CARES Fund logo as they are being procured under the fund allocated for the same and the logo ensures its traceability and accountability.
The CMD explained how the DRDO has supported in the development and indigenization of few critical components required for manufacturing large number of ventilators under global lockdown situation amid coronavirus outbreak.
DRDO has supported in the development and indigenization of few critical components required for manufacturing large number of ventilators under global lockdown situation.— CMD BEL (@cmdbel) June 17, 2020
And after all the facts were put before him, Gokhale’s only reason to not believe them is that he was not sure if the Twitter account is indeed of the CMD of BEL and throw around fancy-sounding jargons to let his followers feel how he is smartest thing in the world after Rahul Gandhi.
And remember – once you send me a legal notice, I’m going to appear in court & subpoena all the purchase documents related to this PM CARES ventilator.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) June 17, 2020
The people of India deserve to know the truth.
Go ahead – sue me. I’m waiting @cmdbel.
To sum up, no, government of India did not buy ventilators retailing at Rs 2.5 lakh for Rs 4 lakh. And Rahul Gandhi is smarter than Saket Gokhale.