Reports of India paying US for ventilators wrong: BJP’s Chauthaiwale

The BJP has reacted sharply to the doubts surrounding the India-US friendship. This time the controversy is being created on 200 repurposed ventilators being donated by the US to India as a “goodwill gesture”. Vijay Chauthaiwale, the incharge of the BJP’ s foreign cell and overseas friends of BJP, in his tweet, has attacked the sceptics who, in their social media posts, implied that the repurposed US ventilators came with a heavy price tag.

Recently, there have been speculations in the social media that India would have to pay an amount of Rs 9 lakh each for 200 ventilators. However, Chauthaiwale has clarified that United States Agency for International Development would bear the cost. The much-required ventilators, it is believed, would be delivered in two tranches starting May.

However, government official statement to this effect is still awaited. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his follow-up tweet to US President Donald Trump had posted: “More power to India-US friendship. The pandemic is being fought collectively by all of us. In such times, it’s always important for nations to work together and do as much as possible to make our world healthier and free from Covid-19.”

President Trump had earlier tweeted that he was proud to announce that the United States would donate ventilators to friends in India. He stood with India during this pandemic. And that the US is also cooperating with India on the vaccine development. However, the naysayers had voiced their concerns that the US was not doing any favours to India by giving the ventilators, but would be charging a hefty amount when India could procure cheaper ventilators from other sources.

They had similar apprehensions when India had made a special goodwill gesture in helping the US provide HCQ (Hydrooxychloroquine — an anti-malaria drug), which President Trump consistently believes is quite effective in combating Covid-19. India as a policy had banned export of the drug but made an exemption in these times of need and crisis to send consignment of the drug to the US. Both the Congress and Left parties were quick to react.

They said that the Indian goodwill gesture to the US was an act of buckling under the US pressure. Even some doctors said when India did not have sufficient stock to cater to the country, why was it exporting the drug to the US. However, the party and Foreign Ministry spokesperson had rebutted saying India lifted the ban on the export as a gesture of solidarity.

In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCR in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are drug would also be supplied to some nations that have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. The spokesperson had said: “We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter.” With Chauthaiwale’s tweet, the BJP hopes that all the controversies surrounding the India-US relations would now come to an end.

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