Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ridiculed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for seeing a scam in the procurement of Covid care kits even before the kits were procured by the state government.
In their “desperation” to attack the government in Punjab they seem to have lost all sense of proportion, said the Chief Minister, reacting to AAP legislator Aman Arora’s allegation of a scam in the kit procurement.
Arora’s scam accusation came even before the tender for procurement of the kits was finalised by the health department, Amarinder pointed out, disclosing that the state government had eventually finalised the cost at Rs 748 per kit with Rs 360 for Pulse Oxymeter.
The AAP Member of Legislative Assembly had based his allegation on a rate list (which he had also sent to the health department) that actually listed only 13 items as against the 16 being procured for the government kit.
Arora’s list made no mention of Capsule Vitamin D, Betadine gargles, and balloons, while the sanitiser he listed was of 100 ML in comparison with the 500 ML sanitiser that is being included in the government kit.
Further, no liquid kadha (a concoction made using herbs and spices) is available in the market at Rs 10, said the CM, adding that AAP was perhaps making some kadha on their own and marketing in Delhi.
Terming Arora’s scam allegation preposterous, the CM said by alleging a scam in a procurement that had not even taken place, the AAP MLA had exposed the party’s strategy of unleashing baseless negative propaganda against his government.
At the time of announcing the free kits for people in home and hospital isolation, the CM said he had merely given an estimated price based on the market costs of various items.
The market prices, however, keep fluctuating, which Arora seems to be either oblivious of, or chose to deliberately ignore in order to mislead the people, he added.
The Rs 1700 estimate announced earlier by him was based on the cost at which the Punjab Police had been procuring such kits in small numbers from local markets, as per their requirement, against the market price of Rs 4000, per kit, Amarinder said.
The procurement process is tender-based, which he had clearly mentioned in his announcement, he further pointed out, adding that the final price which the state government eventually got for the kit turned out to be much lower.
And as already announced, these will be distributed free of cost to all Covid patients in hospital and home quarantine, he added.