I cannot understand why the central ministries and PM’s office cannot give the correct numbers and/or information on Covid committment by INDIA to other countries, including China to which assistance was given using an air force jet, to deliver the aid to China at Wuhan!
It is time PM/PMO consulted ministries before issuing public statements!
Read more on this in a news paper report by Shemin Joy, DHNS, New Delhi, Oct 29 2020, 03:47 ist updated: Oct 29 2020, 07:50 ist
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a United Nations forum in mid-July that India has extended medical and other assistance to over 150 countries in the wake of Covid-19.
- However, an RTI response has shown that New Delhi has committed aid only to 81 countries to the tune of Rs 97.73 crore as on the first week of August 20.
- Among the countries, the response by the Ministry of External Affairs to transparency activist Venkatesh Nayak showed, China with whom India is locked in an intense boundary dispute was one of the highest beneficiaries receiving the whole committed aid worth… Rs 1.87 crore as of August 5.
- Interestingly, the RTI response showed that India spent Rs 4.24 crore in transporting the aid worth Rs 1.87 crore to China! Nayak had filed the RTI in May but received the reply only in September.
- However, the RTI response is in variance with a written reply tabled by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in Lok Sabha on March 18 when he said India had sent medical aid worth Rs 2.11 crore to China. The Government of India provided 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising one lakh pieces of surgical masks, five lakh gloves, 75 infusion pumps, 30 enteral feeding pumps, 21 defibrillators and 4,000 N-95 masks worth Rs 2.11 crore on February 26, Muraleedharan had said. The aid was delivered by an Indian Air Force C-17 special flight which landed in Wuhan.
- According to the RTI, India committed to Myanmar the highest aid worth Rs 6.89 crore of which aid worth Rs 5.84 crore was delivered by the first week of August. Nepal came second with aid worth Rs 6.78 crore committed and Rs 3.93 crore worth aid delivered by the first week of August.
- Among the neighbours, Bangladesh came third with Rs 3.97 crore aid committed out of which aid worth Rs 3.61 crore has been delivered. While Afghanistan was promised aid worth Rs 2.23 crore, only aid worth Rs 29 lakh was delivered.
- It is time the high level secretaries and information reviewers verified information before putting their signatures to statements from the ministries.
- If these high level babus and secretaries worked for a private company, their jobs would be gone by now!
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