Maharashtra govt induced ‘Rs 270 cr loot’ in COVID-19 checks, says BJP

Mumbai, September 11

Allowing non-public laboratories to conduct RT-PCR and antibody checks for the coronavirus outbreak as a substitute of an company of the Centre by the Maharashtra authorities had resulted in “loot” of Rs 270 crore as a result of distinction in take a look at charges, BJP chief Pravin Darekar mentioned on Friday.

The chief of opposition within the Legislative Council claimed the Centre’s HLL Lifecare Ltd was providing such checks as decrease charges however the Uddhav Thackeray authorities opted for personal laboratories, resulting in a lack of Rs 270 crore.

“This loot must be probed by a retired judge. The Centre’s agency had, on July 7, said it would conduct each RT-PCR test for Rs 1,700. However, at the time, the state government fixed the rate at Rs 1,900-Rs 2,200 for private laboratories. On August 19, the Centre’s agency said it would conduct the RT-PCR test for Rs 795,” Darekar mentioned.

“The difference in rates of the Centre’s authorised company and private laboratories was Rs 1,256. Now, if we consider that private laboratories conducted 50 per cent of the total tests in the state, they have conducted 19,34,096 tests so far,” he mentioned.

“And people had to pay Rs 1,256 extra for each of the tests. That means people had to shell out Rs 242.92 crore more. Similarly, the HLL Lifecare offered antibody tests at Rs 291 as against the Rs 599 quoted by private laboratories. This difference comes to Rs 27 crore. In all, Rs 270 crore was looted,” he claimed.

Darekar mentioned had HLL Lifecare been given the contract for testing, then individuals headed for the Konkan for Ganpati festivities from Mumbai in late August may have gotten themselves examined for the virus for Rs 796 as a substitute of Rs 4,500.

This would have benefited 15 lakh individuals, he mentioned.

The Maharashtra authorities had requested these desirous to journey to Konkan inside 10 days of the beginning of the pageant to get themselves examined for the an infection.

He mentioned the state authorities gave the contract to non-public entities fairly than a Central authorities one as “they wanted to make money”. PTI


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