NEW DELHI: In early April, Trivitron Healthcare, a 23-year old Chennai-based medical technology company, got government orders to build 7,000 “basic” and 3,000 “advanced” ventilators, paid for from the PM CARES fund. But when Trivitron got the order, neither of their basic nor advanced ventilator models existed—not even working prototypes.
The total value of Trivitron’s order works out to Rs 373 crore, based on a simple cost-per-unit calculation including Goods and Services Tax.
The “advanced” model was priced at Rs 8,56,800, five times the “basic” model which was priced at Rs 1,66,376, information accessed through RTI requests filed by transparency activist Venkatesh Nayak have revealed.
These prices for Trivitron models – which were yet to be developed at the time — were based on the costs submitted by its competitors: the cost of the basic model is exactly the same as a competitor product by AgVa; while the advanced model was Rs 8,56,800, just Rs 5,600 cheaper than the bid submitted by Allied Medical Limited. (Prices are inclusive of GST)
But the tender documents contained only one set of qualifying technical specifications, and no stated provisions for procuring two different types of ventilators at such vastly different prices. The tender was issued by HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector enterprise tasked with procuring Covid-19-related supplies, including ventilators, for the Narendra Modi government.
- EXCLUSIVE: Modi Advisor's Letter Undermines PMO Claim That PM CARES Isn't Covered By RTI
- Modi Govt Contradicts Itself On PMNRF Like It Did On PM CARES, Documents Show
Trivitron’s order did not come from HLL. It came from Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ), a public sector enterprise under the government of AP, which has a 270-acre zone dedicated for medical device manufacturing. HLL gave AMTZ an order...