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Health - April 17, 2023

Tk 193.93 cr lootedin name of Covid operations

Mahfuz Emran: With the connivance of the contractor and the project manager, purchasing the same type of medical supplies at different rates at the same time and entering into contracts with incompetent and inexperienced suppliers, purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and hand gloves, including illegally not deducting VAT and income tax from the supplier, committed various irregularities including about Tk 193.93 crores allegations of embezzlement of have been madein the ‘Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness (ERPP) project of the Directorate of Health under the Department of Health Services of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
It is to be noted that the ‘Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness (ERPP) Project’ has been taken up in the country to deal with Covid-19. The project director of this project Professor Dr. Iqbal Kabir and Dr. Kazi Shamim Hossain. The financial year of the project is 2019-2020. And the duration of the project is from April 2020 to June 2023.
It is known that about Tk193.93 crores loot have been found in 12 reports. These are:

  1. Due to under-deduction and non-deduction of VAT and income tax from the supplier, the loss to the government is about Tk1.14 crore.
  2. The financial loss of the government is about Tk 17.10 crore due to the same nature of medical supplies being purchased at different rates at the same time.
  3. Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and gloves worth about Tk 5.94 crore by entering into contracts with incompetent and inexperienced suppliers.
  4. Due to the supply of unusable KN95 masks by the supplier, the loss to the government is Tk 1.25 crore.
  5. Due to less supply of KN95 masks by the supplier, the financial loss of the government is about Tk 10.40 lakh.
  6. Due to irregularities in the receipt and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), KN95 masks and infrared thermometers, the government has incurred a financial loss of around Tk 32.85 crores.
  7. Emergency medical supplies procured under the scheme are left unused, defeating the purpose of the scheme. The price of which is about Tk 47.26 crore.
  8. Due to non-deposit of the deducted VAT and income tax to the government treasury on time, the amount of revenue loss to the government including penalty interest is about Tk 5.92 crore.
  9. In violation of the rules of PPR-2008, about Tk 10.82 crore has been stolen by executing the contract without performance security.
  10. About Tk 6.18 crore has been irregularly spent on mobile app, tvcliff, software development work through consultant firm in single source selection method.
  11. Due to the failure of the supplier to deliver the goods within the stipulated time and pay the bill without imposing the delay penalty as per the terms of the contract, the loss amounts to about Tk 4.19 crore and
  12. Due to the purchase of medical supplies at a price higher than the price mentioned in the DPP, the financial loss of the government is about Tk 7.70 crore.
    According to sources, the Comptroller and Auditor General office has submitted the compliance audit report on the financial activities of the 2019-20 financial year of the ‘Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness (ERPP) Project’ of the Directorate of Health under the Health Services Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This report has been submitted recently.
    In 12 reports, information about looting of about Tk 193.93 crore has been found.
    Allegedly, M/s Jadid Automobiles JAI and M/s SRS Design and Fashion Limited have done almost all the work of this project.
    According to the information received, about Tk 1.13 crore have not been deducted from the suppliers of medical supplies by the project authority for VAT and income tax. which included VAT in the total bid submitted by the supplier. The project authority did not deduct VAT from the supplier’s bill to fill its own pockets in an unfair manner. According to the rules, VAT at the rate of 7.5 percent has to be deducted from the supplier’s bill.
    On the other hand, due to the purchase of similar medical supplies at different rates at the same time, the government has been accused of looting about Tk 17.10 crore. It can be seen that the project authority has given a work order for the supply of 2 lakh 10 thousand pieces of goods to the supplier M/s SRS Design and Fashion Ltd. as a single price of Tk 350 under the direct purchase process under Package No-GD-05.
    Again 1 day ago M/s SRS Design and Fashion Limited, the bidder of package no.-05, at a rate of Tk 50 higher than the price of each piece of mask, M/s Sim Corporation was given the work order for package no-GD-08, an additional Tk 1.05 crore has been paid for the supply of masks.
    On the other hand, an agreement was signed with M/s Jadid Automobiles JFI on May 19, 2020 for the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Masks and Hand Gloves. 1 lakh 50 thousand pieces of KN9 masks of good quality from supplier M/s Jadid Automobiles JAI as per the terms of the contract, are supposed to be received by CMSD but in the goods acceptance certificate/invoice by CMSD, out of 15 lakh 50 thousand pieces of KN9 masks, 24 thousand pieces. The mask is taken wet.
    That is, any substandard product is not acceptable as per the terms of the contract. Each KN9 mask worth Tk 520 of which 24 thousand pieces were destroyed. That is, due to the supply of unusable KN9 masks by the supplier, the loss to the government is about Tk 1.24 crore.
    Many government bureaucrats in collusion with contractor organizations in the country have looted huge sums of money, but they are getting away with not taking accountability and proper legal measures.
    Although the contractor has no previous experience, the project manager has given the work to an incompetent and inexperienced contractor with illegal benefits. According to the tender schedule submitted by the bidder, M/s Jadid Automobiles submitted a bid of Tk 31.9 crore for supply of PPE, N95 mask, KN95 mask and hand gloves by the supplier contractor organization M/s Jadid Automobiles JAI under Package No.GD-01.
    M/s Jadid Automobiles JAI is actually a car spare parts supplier; Who had no prior work experience. In spite of failure to submit basic information of specific qualifications and technical experience for financial supply in support of supply of PPE, N95 Masks, KN95 Masks and Hand Gloves, the company was ordered to reverse without verification of qualifications and disqualification.
    Besides, for the supply of 2 lakh pieces of PPE against package no.-GD-02 and 1 lakh pieces of mask against package no.-GD-05, following the procurement process, another company M/s SRS Design and Fashion Ltd. was given Tk 24 crores and another Tk 3 crores respectively. A work order of Tk 50 lakh was given. This company also has no prior experience. As a result, personal protective equipment worth Tk 59.4 crore was procured from unqualified and inexperienced suppliers through three packages.
    As a result, personal protective equipment worth Tk 59.4 crore was procured from unqualified and inexperienced suppliers through three packages. A total of 12 reports have found various information about the loot of about Tk193.93 crore.
    When talking to some officials of the Health Services Department of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about the issues, they said on condition of anonymity, “Government officials are grabbing billions of rupees by doing these misdeeds due to lack of proper monitoring and accountability and not taking proper disciplinary measures.”
    Professor Dr. who is in charge of the project director to know about these irregularities. Several attempts were made to contact Iqbal Kabir but he could not be reached. Later, he sent a message on WhatsApp with the topic of the speech, but he did not reply.

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