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Charity denies wrong doing in getting contracts

business Updated: Jan 18, 2009 20:48 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times
Emergency Management and Research Institute

The Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), the medical emergency charity begun by Satyam disgraced ex-Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, will not die. “Many corporates, enterpreneurs and high net worth individuals have said they are ready to support us, if the contribution from the Raju family happens to stop,” said Venkat Changavalli, the EMRI's chief executive officer.

At a press conference on Sunday, Venkat also insisted that all of EMRI's contracts were secured after following proper procedures and complying with all stipulated requirements. The Institute runs emergency ambulance services in 11 states.

A Public Interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court by two NGOs, Ambulance Access Foundation and Transparency in Contracts, had alleged that EMRI got its contracts without proper tendering. Last Wednesday, the court had directed EMRI, the centre and concerned state governments to respond to the petition by February 18.

Changavalli said that Raju rang him up at around 11 am on January 7 — the day when he resigned soon after admitting to manipulating Satyam's accounts — and told him that he was making a statement about Satyam. “No matter what happens to Satyam because of my statement, I don’t want EMRI to be affected,” Changavalli recalled Raju telling him.

Venkat clarified that EMRI received contributions only from the Raju family, not from Satyam Computers. “Our partnership with Satyam is purely technological and that will continue,” he said. “They have not asked to terminate the contract.”

Around 95 per cent of the costs of running EMRI in the state came from the Andhra Pradesh government, he revealed. “The remaining 5 per cent was taken care of by Raju’s family,” Changavalli said.

Some states like Andhra Pradesh had already come forward to fully fund the EMRI scheme in the state, he said.

Changavalli expected more revenue through sponsorships from corporates — in return for which EMRI’s ambulances could sport the company’s logo — and by enrolling new members. Each membership costs Rs 5 crore.