Maharashtra government’s plan to buy homeopathic pills fails as bidders quote higher pricesUpdated: Jul 04, 2020 01:39 IST
The rural development department (RDD) planned to distribute the homeopathic compound Arsenicum Album 30 to 1.5 crore households in rural areas by procuring the drug at state level, but high prices quoted by bidders has derailed the plan. The bidders quoted almost three times what the government had expected. RDD has now asked district administrations to procure Arsenicum Album 30 at their level and distribute it.
In June, RDD had planned to distribute Arsenicum Album 30 in rural areas and expected each bottle to be priced between Rs 8 and Rs18. RDD minister Hasan Mushrif said this decision followed the ministry for Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy (Ayush) recommending the drug as a prophylactic. To this end, RDD had decided to use Rs 25 crore accumulated from unutilised grants given by 13th and 14th finance commissions over the last 10 years for development of rural areas.
However, the two qualified bidders quoted Rs 23.92 and Rs 23.74 for a bottle of 100 pills. “The rates were higher than expectation as it involved packing and transportation of the drug across the state,” said an RDD officer on condition of anonymity.
When RDD learnt some local bodies, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), had procured the stock at much lower prices, it decided to scrap the bidding process.
“The bidding process started around three weeks ago and there was high fluctuation in price of the pills when it was underway. Instead of going into more negotiations, we decided to ask the district administration to procure and distribute,” said Arvind Kumar, principal secretary, RDD.