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Congress Questions Centre’s Silence On Covaxin Pricing Controversy In Brazil

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Congress Questions Centre's Silence On Covaxin Pricing Controversy In Brazil

Congress stated the problem brings disrepute and taint to the complete Indian pharma business. (File)

New Delhi:

The Congress Party on Friday cornered the central authorities over the Covaxin pricing controversy in Brazil and requested the Centre why it’s “conspicuously silent” on the matter.

Briefing medipersons, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate stated, “It is important for us to raise these questions because Bharat Biotech may be a private entity, but, the public fund was diverted for the development of this vaccine. Taxpayers’ money was put into this and which is why we have a right to question: what has happened with that money and why is the government conspicuously silent on it?”

The Congress chief stated Bharat Biotech had made an settlement with Precisa Medicamentos of Brazil and so they had signed a contract to produce 20 million doses to the nation. However, in response to media reviews, Bharat Biotech allegedly had quoted a worth of USD 1.34 per dose of Covaxin which was jacked as much as USD 15 per dose. The Brazilian opposition and the senate have raised the problem following which legal investigative companies are probing the matter. Brazilian companies are additionally probing an offshore potential fund diversion by an entity referred to as Madison Biotech associated to Bharat Biotech.

She additional stated that the query is that ICMR was slated to get 5 per cent of the revenue from the sale of Covaxin. But, allegations are that Bharat Biotech was promoting the vaccine to Madison Biotech at a cheaper price.

“Madison was garnering the lion’s share of the profit. We really want to know, what is the relationship between Madison Biotech and Bharat Biotech. These allegations are of a very serious nature and if Bharat Biotech was selling according to the allegations at a lower price then obviously ICMR’s own proceeds get depressed,” she said.

“The allegations are that a USD 45 million offshore payment was asked by Madison Biotech. Why is this ‘partner’ of Bharat Biotech asking for this sort of money? It is illegal as it is not a part of the contract signed between Bharat Biotech, Precisa Medicamentos and the Brazilian government,” she stated.

The Congress chief pressured it’s a critical difficulty of company governance if these allegations are to be believed. Whether Madison Biotech is an exporting arm or a logistics agency or an entity of a family-owned enterprise, it needs to be recognized. “We also want to know because it is now established that the founders of Bharat Biotech are also the co-founders of Madison Biotech,” she claimed.

The Congress chief stated this difficulty brings disrepute and taint to the complete Indian pharma business which is a delight to the nation. She stated that the matter may be handled as PMLA case (Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) or SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) case.

“If fund diversions happen, this makes for a PMLA case. Irregularities of lowering your profits and depressing your taxes is a case of SFIO. Why are not those probes being ordered? Is not this a case of tax diversion and fund diversion? Even after a criminal investigation and a parliamentary probe has been initiated by Brazil Government into the contract, why is the Indian government conspicuously silent,” she requested.

The Congress chief requested the central authorities if any particular approval had been given to export the vaccines on June 4 when there’s a blanket ban on the export of those vaccines. “What happened there?” she questioned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by India07 workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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(THIS STORY HAS NOT BEEN EDITED BY INDIA07 TEAM AND IS AUTO-GENERATED FROM A SYNDICATED FEED.)

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