Nagpur: The former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has alleged that Haffkin institute suffered a loss of Rs 2 crore after favoring the wrong bidder and said that though it is a small amount, there will be huge scam in purchasing of oral drugs. The state government assured to initiate an inquiry and also assured the action will be taken against guilty.
The issue was raised by Chavan in the lower house on Monday. He alleged that the Haffkine institute didn’t invite a global tender leading to loss of Rs 2 crore. He also raised doubts over the purchase issue. The purchase deal took place in 2016.
“Surprisingly, inspite of the irregularities pointed out by CAG, the institute has paid higher price for bulk purchase, while it should be lesser than the rate quotes at the time of emergency purchase. If there is only company in the world which supplies the polio drug then why the Haffkine hasn’t negotiate directly with the company?” questioned Chavan.
The former CM also demanded detail inquiry into the matter and guilty to be punished.
Members from ruling party too raised doubts over government stand towards Haffkin institute. Eknath Khadse, BJP legislator and former revenue minister, asked the government to clarify its stand towards strengthening of the only research institute in the country located in Maharashtra. “What is the government stand to strengthen the reputed institute? is there any plan to shut down the institute? At the same time government should clarify whether the government has any plan to sell the land as it is located on the prime plot in Mumbai and many eyeing on the plot,” said Khadse.
Girish Bapat, minister for food and drug administration while replying to the questions said there is no plan to sell the plot but the government is trying to strengthen the institute. “We will ask centre to fund to the strengthen the institute,” he said.
Replying to Chavan, Bapat said, “The inquiry will be conducted by chief secretary and the report will be submitted within next three months about the purchase of oral polio drop. The action will be taken against those whoever would proved guilty,” assured minister.
The minister further said the institute has approached to the second bidder for the supply of polio drugs as the lowest quoted (L-1) bidder had failed to supply drug in specified period. “To avoid the losses of the institute, the government bought drugs from second bidder,” Bapat said.