New Delhi: India has celebrated the mass vaccination drive for being the first country in the world to inoculate the mass but information collected through the Right of Right to Information (RTI) Act said that the PM CARES Fund, set up to deal with the emergency situation, did not give the money it had offered for vaccine development.
According to The Wire, the failure to allocate the promised amount of Rs 100 crore by the PM CARE Fund has been came out through an RTI filed by activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd.).
Batra received the reply from the Union Health Ministry for the application he had filed four months ago, even after multiple reminders. "So far, as information from [Health and Public Education] Division is concerned, it is stated that no funds have been received from PM CARES Fund for vaccine development," is the response from the Union Health Ministry.
The Prime Minister's Office had released a press statement on May 13, 2020, informing the PM CARES Fund's offering of Rs Rs 3,100 crore to help India's fight against COVID-19, including the Rs 100 crore to help hand to catalyse vaccine development.
Batra filed an application under the RTI Act with the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the health ministry on July 16, 2021, seeking details of expenses through the PM CARES Fund. Specifically, he asked for "financial year wise total amount of PM CARES Fund received by the Government of India for vaccine development relating to the COVID-19 pandemic".