'Not a single rupee lost': After price row, Centre cancels rapid test kit order from Chinese companies
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After a row over the price of the rapid test kits, the government on Monday said that it had cancelled the order from the two Chinese companies, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon, saying that "not a single rupee has been lost."
"It needs to be stressed that ICMR hasn't made any payment whatsoever in respect to these supplies. Because of due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), government doesn't stand to lose a single rupee," the government said in a statement, as reported by news agency ANI.
This comes amid the row over the price of the rapid test kits. The opposition has tried to corner the government price and alleged that some people were indulging in profiteering while supplying rapid test kits for COVID-19 to the government.
Demanding that the Prime Minister take strict immediate action against them, the Congress on Monday cited media reports about rapid test kits for COVID-19 being sold at around 150 per cent profits to the government.
Government of India releases fact sheet on Rapid Antibody tests. pic.twitter.com/DJ1JkTbMMg— ANI (@ANI) April 27, 2020
"When the entire country is fighting against the COVID-19 disaster, some people are still profiteering. One detests and feels ashamed of such a corrupt mindset. We demand from the prime minister strict action against these profiteers. The country will never pardon them," Congress' Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
Meanwhile, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that it was "shameful and inhuman" that people were supplying test kits bought for Rs 225 at Rs 600 to the state exchequer.
"Corruption in Corona Testing Kits OR Profiteering by duping the Exchequer. Import Price of 1 Testing Kit= Rs 225! Purchase Price of Testing Kit= Rs 600! Profit Margin = 166.66 pc! Shameful and Inhuman! Will PM fix responsibility," he said on Twitter.
The government had purchased around 5 lakh rapid anti-body test kits and RNA Extraction Kits earlier this month and distributed them to the states, saying all people in coronavirus hotspots will be tested. The purchase order was signed between ICMR and Aark Pharmaceuticals.
(With PTI Inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma