Opposition legislators on Monday raised the issue of an alleged Rs297-crore scam in the procurement of medicines by the state’s public health department. They disrupted proceedings and demanded a detailed discussion on the issue.
Dr Deepak Sawant, the state’s public health minister, said that a one-member committee has been constituted to probe the allegations and that those found guilty will be punished.
He also said that two officials — then assistant director and then assistant director (procurement cell) — of the Nation Urban Health Mission (NUHM) have been suspended with immediate effect.
Demanding a debate, leader of the opposition Dhananjay Munde issued an adjournment notice. He said it was a Rs297-crore scam as all the procurement orders were given in a single day.
“The department even bought medicines with lapsed expiry dates. This is a very serious issue as it directly relates to people’s health,” Munde said. However, chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar rejected Munde’s notice.
Sawant clarified that the matter relates to procurements by NUHM in 2014-15 and claimed that no procurement worth Rs 297 crore was made that year.
For 2014-15, the central government had allotted NUHM Rs 43.19 crore to buy medicines, of which Rs 28 crore was spent on 201 types of medicines, he said.