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Vendors threaten to stop drug supply to Delhi govt hospitals, CM Kejriwal seeks details of dues

After the drug suppliers have complained against non-payment of dues, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the chief secretary to fix accountability and put a workable system in place.

delhi Updated: May 30, 2017 22:39 IST
Vishal Kant
Vishal Kant
Hindustan Times
Delhi drug suppliers,Drug vendors,Delhi govt hospitals
The CM has written to the CS to provide by Wednesday morning, details about all pending bills reasons, the pendency period and the reasons for non-payment.(HT FILE)

With drug vendors threatening to stop supplies of medicines to government hospitals, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought details of non-payment from chief secretary MM Kutty and directed the top bureaucrat to fix accountability of officials concerned for the delay.

Taking a stern view of the complaint by the Delhi Hospital Supplier’s Association, Kejriwal has directed the CS to implement a system that ‘if payment are not made during the prescribed number of days after delivery of medicines, interest shall be paid (to suppliers) and the interest amount will be deducted from concerned officers including the HOD of that department’.

Officials said the representatives of the supplier’s association had met the chief minister last week and apprised the CM about the issue.

The CM has written to the CS to provide by Wednesday morning, details about all pending bills reasons, the pendency period and the reasons for non-payment.

“Besides, the chief minister has also directed the CS to submit a proposal by Monday putting in place a fix rate of interest that will be paid to the suppliers in case of delay, fixing the rate of interest at which the suppliers would be compensated and from whose (concerned officers) salary will the interest amount be deducted for payment,” said an official.

“Accountability is key to good governance. Someone must be held accountable n face consequences for inefficiency or wrongdoing (sic.),” tweeted Kejriwal.

The direction comes in wake of demand from the supplier’s association to make systematic changes required in the working of the Delhi government’s health procurement systems so that vendors’ payments are released in a time-bound manner and responsibility fixed in case of delay in payments.

“Make provision for payment of interest on any payments delayed beyond 45 days of supplies on the same lines as late supply penalties are imposed on vendors when they falter in delivery of stocks,” the association said in a written complaint to the chief minister on May 26.

In its letter, the association has said that several bills are still pending for about a year despite a meeting held on May 5, attended by health minister and the principal secretary (health) was also present, in which it was decided that all bills pending up to April 30 would be released by May 30, but it could not.

Explaining the stern direction to the CS, an official in the CM office said, “The bureaucracy needs to explain the delay when funds when the government has provided adequate funds for the purpose in the budget. And since the CS is the boss of bureaucracy in Delhi, the direction has been issued to him.”

First Published: May 30, 2017 11:43 IST