While Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a United Nations forum that India has extended medical and other assistance to 150 counties during the pandemic, an RTI response on the other hand, confirms New Delhi has committed aid only to 81 countries, approximately Rs 97.73 crore till first week of August. Of this, aid worth Rs 69.72 crore were delivered till August 5.
According to a report by Deccan Herald, the response by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to transparency activist Venkatesh Nayak showed that China received the whole committed aid worth Rs 1.87 crore as on August 5. However, the RTI response showed that India spent Rs. 4.24 crore in transporting the amount of Rs. 1.87 crore. The RTI response does not even coincide with the written words of Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in Lok Sabha on March 18. He said India had sent medical aid worth Rs 2.11 crore to China.
15 tonnes of medical assistance which included masks, gloves, infusion pumps and other such items, were delivered by the Government of India by an Air Force C-17 special flight to Wuhan.
The RTI response is in variance with Prime Ministers address at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), where he said, “in our joint fight against Covid-19, we have extended medical and other assistance to over 150 countries.” However, the MEA has only provided the list of 81 countries to which New Delhi has promised aid as on August 5.
As per the RTI, Myanmar was promised an aid of Rs.6.89 crore and Nepal of Rs.6.87 crore. However, the aid delivered by the first week of August were Rs.5.84 and Rs.3.93 respectively.