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Eknath Khadse slams Girish Bapat over expenditure of state-owned pharmaceutical firm in Mumbai

Khadse criticised the Food and Drugs Administration minister over ‘irregularities’ in the purchase of medicine by Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Limited.

mumbai Updated: Dec 19, 2017 00:28 IST
mumbai,Haffkine Biopharmaceutical,Eknath Khadse
The Supreme Court had censured the undertaking for violating the central vigilance commission norms (File pic for representation)

Former Maharashtra minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party member Eknath Khadse, on Monday, criticised the minister for food and drugs administration Girish Bapat over ‘irregularities’ in the purchase of medicine by the state-owned Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Limited in Mumbai.

Raising the issue during the question hour, senior Congress member Prithviraj Chavan pointed out that the apex court had censured the undertaking for violating the central vigilance commission norms while floating tenders worth Rs150 crore for the supply of bulk drugs, a few months ago. However, despite the Supreme Court’s indictment, the government did not initiate any action against the concerned persons.

Khadse, who was made to quit the party unceremoniously in 2016, joined Chavan and demanded criminal offences be registered against those found guilty. “Why was the government shielding corrupt persons?” he asked, demanding a probe by Special Investigation team (SIT).

Khadse also blamed the government for brain drain, stating that it was unfortunate that the institute - the only one of its kind in the research of snake and venom - was unable to retain skilled scientists and researchers. He added that most employees were leaving the institution because they were paid poor wages, around Rs40,000 to Rs50,000 per month.

“While giving the judgement on the issue, Supreme Court did not direct the state or the institute to prosecute the concerned,” Bapat said in response to Khadse.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 00:26 IST