Punjab Health Systems Corporation: Lid off two more scams worth crores

Furniture, blood cell counters purchased at inflated rates, finds PHSC investigation | Hospital furniture purchased by the Director, Health Services, for Rs 6.5 crore; tender not floated

Punjab Health Systems Corporation: Lid off two more scams worth crores

While investigating the hand sanitiser and mask purchase scam, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) has unearthed two more scams worth crores.

Tribune News Service

Vishav Bharti

Chandigarh, July 3

While investigating the hand sanitiser and mask purchase scam, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) has unearthed two more scams worth crores.

The scams are related to the purchase of furniture worth Rs 6.5 crore and 225 blood cell counters.

The probe, conducted by the Managing Director of the PHSC, has found that all items were purchased at inflated rates by adopting the “modus operandi” used in the case of hand sanitisers and masks.

The probe found that there was a requirement of 177 blood cell counters and 48 ESR analyst machines. It is an advanced machine used for measuring the rate at which red blood cells in the blood descend into a standardised tube. The PHSC already had a rate contract of Rs 2.92 lakh per machine. However, it cancelled the contract and went in for an expensive machine. Instead of just a blood cell counter, the order was placed for blood cell counter with an inbuilt ESR analyst, which was expensive.

The cost of each machine came to Rs 3.85 lakh. The probe report has asked why the PHSC proposed to buy a blood cell counter with an inbuilt ESR analyst though its duty was to procure the items as per the received demand — just a blood cell counter.

The probe report has also noted that the supplier has been extended benefit as no analysis was done with regard to the cost efficiency. “The item was purchased claiming it to be a proprietary item, but the certificate by the Government of India was not on the file.”

Besides, the probe has found the hospital furniture was purchased by the Director, Health Services, at inflated rates for Rs 6.5 crore. What has raised eyebrows is that no tender was floated for the purchase of the furniture and it was bought at the “rate contract” of the Controller of Stores. “This seems to have been purchased at inflated rates,” the probe found.

Probe findings

  • There was a requirement of 177 blood cell counters and 48 ESR analyst machines
  • The PHSC already had a rate contract of Rs 2.92 lakh per machine. However, it cancelled the contract and went in for an expensive machine
  • Instead of just a blood cell counter, the order was placed for a blood cell counter with an inbuilt ESR analyst, which was expensive. The cost of each machine came to Rs 3.85 lakh

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