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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Probe reveals irregularities in purchase of medicines at district TB centre

Mehakdeep Grewal, Hindustan Times  Patiala, December 11, 2013
First Published: 19:22 IST(11/12/2013) | Last Updated: 19:25 IST(11/12/2013)

The probe ordered into the purchase of medicines and other equipment between 2007 to 2012 for the district TB centre here have revealed some irregularities.

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Sources said that one of the irregularities pertained to the quotations as three of them were found to be of one firm running under different names. Material including tissue paper rolls, phenol, distilled water, sputum cups, glass slides, immersion oil, lens paper, filter paper, etc  were purchased at double the rates available in the market, the sources added.

It may be recalled here that the vigilance department had ordered an inquiry in June following the allegations of embezzlement levelled by some quarters in the purchase of medicines and laboratory materials.

The centre, set up under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) in 2001, falls under the district health department.

The funds for the purchase of medicines and other material are allocated by the centre to the state government and are further distributed among various districts.

The sources said a four-member purchase committee comprising the civil surgeon, a private doctor nominated by the deputy commissioner, district programme manager and district programme officer is responsible for inviting quotations and making purchases.

However, the authorities concerned defended the purchase process and took refuge in the contention that the rates were high because the materials procured were of high quality.

The authorities revealed that a sum of Rs. 8 lakh was spent on the purchase of medicines from 2007 to 2012, excluding 2009 and 2011, when the procurement was done by the state itself.

When the superintendent of police (vigilance) Jaspal Singh was contacted on the matter, he said, "We are still compiling the report findings based on the records and statements of the centre authorities."

Several attempts to contact district programme officer Dr Jawahar Joshi turned futile.

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