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Fact-check: Is Govt of India buying Rs 2.5 lakh ventilator for Rs 4 lakh using PM CARES Fund. Read how Congress ecosystem is spreading misinformation

Congress and its ecosystem came together to spread misinformation and cast aspersions that there is a ventilator scam underway as the first 'made in India' ventilators under PM CARES started reaching hospitals.

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.

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 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. Kothari is the ‘Managing Editor of ‘The Logical Indian’ which started as an Arvind Kejriwal fan page on Facebook.
The Logical Indian Facebook page history.
Soon, many lapped up Gokhale’s fantasy peddled as fact.

Now, before we get into the facts, here’s some little trivia for Gokhale.

IndiaMart price for ventilator

“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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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