Nepal | August 04, 2020

CIAA mum over suspicious procurement of medical kits

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, March 31

Though several media reports since the last few days have been bringing to light the anomalies in the procurement process of various medical equipment and logistics from China to control the spread of coronavirus, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) — the country’s anti-graft body — is mum over the issue.

The government, especially the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has been charged in several media reports of purchasing necessary medical equipment at an exorbitantly higher price by bypassing the comparatively low-cost quotations from the private sector.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft body has said that it is yet to receive any official complaint on this issue to start any investigation.

“We have heard about the suspicious procurement process of medical equipment through the media. However, our investigation on the issue depends on whether or not CIAA receives complaints related to the issue,” said Pradeep Kumar Koirala, spokesperson for CIAA.

The government had received its first batch of medical equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) from China on Sunday. A chartered flight of Nepal Airlines Corporation had carried the equipment home.

However, it was revealed that the government had procured medical equipment meant for containing the spread of coronavirus from Omni Group at exorbitantly high prices compared to quotations of different other firms. The government had procured medical kits like protective goggles, infrared thermometers, gloves, N-95 masks, shoe covers, surgical masks and chlorine, among others at higher prices compared to the rate that other firms had quoted.

Among others, the government has purchased shoe covers at Rs 240 per piece against minimum quotation of five rupees a piece. Similarly, the government purchased N-95 masks at Rs 840 per piece against minimum quotation of Rs 165 per piece.

Likewise, the government has purchased protective goggles at Rs 2,160 per piece against the minimum quotation of Rs 360 per piece, while infrared thermometers whose minimum quotation was Rs 1,800 per piece has been procured at Rs 7,800 per piece.

The government’s move to bypass minimum quotation and purchase medical kits at such a high rate from Omni Group had raised many eyebrows and made the entire procurement process suspicious.

Meanwhile, officials at the MoHP have been denying any anomalies in the procurement process. Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, director general at the Department of Health Service, said that medical kits did cost high due to the shortage in the international market.

However, Chemical and Medical Suppliers Association of Nepal has already issued a statement on Monday stating the procurement process of medical kits did not follow competitive tender process.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday had expressed his concern over the suspicious procurement process of medical kits.


A version of this article appears in print on April 01, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Former king Juan Carlos decides to leave Spain amid corruption allegations

Prosecutors looking into bribe allegations Pressure had been building on royals to take action Former king remains "at the disposal" of prosecutors The 82-year-old helped guide Spain back to democracy MADRID: Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a drama Read More...

Ruling party co-chairs stick to their guns

Oli to remain PM till general election, co-chair till General Convention: NCP leader Gokul Baskota Kathmandu, August 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli held talks today in an attempt to break the current impasse in the party, but failed to Read More...

Airlines seek permission to resume flights

Airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days Kathmandu, August 3 The government's decision to resume domestic and international flights from August 17 has prompted airline companies to start submitting their proposals to the Ci Read More...

Dhading bans sand mining during monsoon

Dhading, August 3 In view of increasing deaths related to river mining, the authority in Dhading decided to impose a complete ban on sand mining from rivers in the district during the monsoon season. There is already a rule that bans mining of river products using heavy equipment during the ra Read More...

File photo of Melamchi Water Supply Project tunnel.

‘Technical error caused Melamchi tunnel accident’

Kathmandu, August 3 A committee formed to investigate Melamchi tunnel incident has concluded that one of the sluice gates on the tunnel of the Melamchi Water Supply Project had broken due to a technical error. A project engineer and a driver had died due to the flood resulting from the breakag Read More...

reproductive health, Minister of State for Health and Population, Padma Kumari Aryal

Work responsibly, Minister Aryal directs employees

Kathmandu, August 3 Minister of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal has directed government employees to work responsibly as the ministry has the responsibility of protecting the property of over 30 million people of the country. She said this at the annual Read More...

PM visits under-construction museum at his private residence

Bhaktapur, August 3 Prime Minister and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli today visited his private residence at Balkot and met with people from different walks of life. This is the third time the prime minister has visited his private residence after being electe Read More...

‘Harsher punishment against acid attackers’

Kathmandu, August 3 Women and Social Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the home ministry to make some amendments to the legal arrangement and punishment related to incidents of acid attack, pointing out the need of timely revision. After the discussion held on ‘a Read More...