India is has been growing its clout in South America by increasing diaspora in the grab of export oriented businesses.
India plans to encroach the uncharted territories and explore avenues of businesses as a long term policy.
It is appreciated that Indian economic connectivity/ trade with South America will increase manifold within this decade.
Brazilian President Bolsonaro* is facing political crises due to his mishandling of COVID-19 pandemic*. Investigation of Brazilian Parliamentary Committee (CPI) revealed Bolsonaro admin *involvement in penning $300 M deal* laden with illegalities and bribery charges to fast track *procurement of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin*.
It offers an opportunity to exploit existing political polarization and public anger for death of 600,000 Brazilian against India. Indian repute in South America will suffer and it will undercut their economic ambitions and reliability especially in Pharmaceutical trade*.
In Nov 2020, *Bharat Biotech* offered to sell its indigenously-made COVID-19 vaccine “Covaxin” to Brazil with the possibility of technology transfer.
Eight months later, not a single dose of the vaccine was given to anyone in Brazil*.
Deal between the Indian company and Brazil’s ministry of health* became the main focus of the Rapporteur of the *Senate of Brazil’s Parliamentary Commission (CPI)*.
Suspecting corruption*, senators are now treating it like a scandal as they investigate the money trail of 300 M contract for 200 M doses which is the most expensive deal made by Brazil, with each dose costing $15. *65 individuals including senior officers are being prosecuted for corruption*.
The probe has been focused on why the president pushed for a costly vaccine which was not even approved by the Brazilian drug regulator or the World Health Organization.
Prosecutors are also investigating the middle firm of the deal, whether it was favored by the government with malafide intentions.
The inquiry panel is already in possession of documents which show that the government aggressively pushed for a deal with Bharat Biotech*.
A civil servant from the ministry from the ministry of health had told federal prosecutors that he had suffered *“unusual pressure”* to guarantee the import of Indian origin Covaxin*.
Brazilian President face prosecution, report charges President with crimes ranging from inciting crime to forming a criminal organization as COVID-19 mishandling led to 6,00,000 deaths in Brazil – worst hit in world.
Investigation is gathering considerable media limelight and has generated political heat, providing an opportune time to use the crisis to own advantage against India.
By covertly engaging opposition parties involved in CPI the image of “*shining India*” can be dented not only in Brazil but also in South Asia.
A wide media coverage of Biotech’s contracting deal with other countries be explored to damage the reputation and credibility of Indian pharmaceutical company by referring to Brazilian case as an example of ingrained corruption and mishandling (white collar crime) in India’s private and government sector. —Agencies