Dy Minister lobbying Health Ministry to pay one particular supplier

By Chaminda Silva

Secretary to the Ministry of Health Janaka Sugathadasa has instructed Director of the Medical Supplies Division Lal Panapitiya not to give priority to any supplier when settling their dues amounting to millions of rupees but to adhere to the usual payment procedure.

Secretary Sugathadasa said that he had issued the instruction as there had been several letters from a deputy minister to Director Medical Supplies Division to give priority to a certain private pharmaceutical company.

Secretary Sugathadasa said that the ministry owed more than Rs. 10 billion to private suppliers for obtaining medicine.

The Deputy Minister, in a letter dated Jan 27, 2017, asked the Director of the Medical Supplies Division to pay Rs. 29,746,000 (Under Tender Ref MSD/SB14/SPECIAL/124/2016), and Rs 59,501,000 (Under tender Ref MSD/SB14/SPECIAL/180/2016), Rs 20,930,000 (Under Tender Ref MSD/SB14/SPECIAL/185/2016) to a private company.

The same deputy minister, in another letter, dated June 15, 2014 addressed to Acting Secretary to the Ministry of Health asked for paying Rs 186 million to the same private company.

The issue had been reported to the parliament watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) and an investigation was in progress, ministry sources said.


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