May 17, 2021

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Irregularities in health shopping: The bill is being paid from the Corona Fund

The Ministry of Finance has agreed to pay the bill for irregular purchases in the health sector without heeding the rules and regulations. In the 2019-20 financial year, in 56 packages purchased on an emergency basis, all the unprecedented irregularities took place in the case of health items worth Tk 343.29 crore. The Ministry of Health had written to the Ministry of Finance to pay the suppliers. In view of this, the Ministry of Finance last week allocated the entire amount from the Corona Fund for the payment of the bill. This information has been known from the sources of the Ministry of Finance.

Asked about this, the responsible officer of the concerned department of the finance ministry did not agree to comment. However, he said that the finance ministry would be more strict in the future except for the purchase of health items.

According to sources, in the fiscal year 2019-20, on an emergency basis, health products worth Tk 1,275.22 crore were purchased in 198 packages from various organizations through DPM system. Of these, unprecedented irregularities occurred in 56 packages worth Tk 343.29 crore. The inquiry committee formed to look into the irregularities found that the appropriate procurement approval authority applicable to the purchase of these packages had not been obtained. No supply agreement was made. Although there is a list of products, no fixed single price and total price has been mentioned. No conditions were added. Besides, at least 20 irregularities were found in various cases.

The companies that have provided these packages have been pressuring the Central Pharmacy (CMSD) to pay through various channels. Due to these pressures, CMSD sent a letter to the Ministry of Health to pay the bill. The Ministry of Health sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance on the 4th of this month to pay the bills from the unexpected sector or from the Corona Fund. After receiving a letter from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance has taken only seven days to decide on the payment of irregular bills in the people’s tax money.

An order was issued from the budget section-1 of the finance department with the allocation for the payment of bills on the last 12th. It has been said that in the financial year 2020-21, the budget of the finance department for the payment of the bill of goods collected by CMSD against KVID-19 has been provided in favor of CMSD from the fund for coronavirus outbreak. However, the ministry has given some conditions.

The conditions are that all financial rules and regulations, including following the Public Procurement Act-2006 and The Public Procurement Rules-2006, must be properly complied with in spending money. Detailed information about the beneficiary of the contractor during the procurement process should be collected and properly stored for audit. This money cannot be spent on any sector other than the proposed sector. This allocation will have to be adjusted in the revised budget for the current financial year.

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