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‘Cancer Medicine’ purchase attracts Rs20 m corruption

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KARACHI: Though, the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) always claims in service delivery to the people of the province, however the financial corruption has entered into almost every single department of the Sindh Government which is bringing large-scale devastation in the province.

The Sindh Employees’ Social Security Institution (Sessi) is the only hope for the labour class who merely get even fixed-minimum wages. In the past, the Sessi used to take care of the thousands of labourers in terms of education, health and other social security responsibilities.

Interestingly, the Sessi has become the most-corrupt institution where a mafia (group of few officers) has formed a nexus and chewing up millions of rupees by hoodwinking the authorities.

A shocking and mega scam surfaced where Dr Mumtaz Ali Shaikh, ex-medical superintendent KVSS Site Hospital embezzled Rs 20 million in few months for the purchase of cancer medicines.

According to a final show-cause notice issued to him by Asghar Ali Ghanghro, Vice Commissioner SESSI on December 14, 2021 fixing this mega corruption on Dr Mumtaz Ali Shaikh for his proven involvement.

“Whereas you were served a show cause notice by the institution vide letter No SS/MW/459 dated 3 November 2021. And whereas your reply of show cause notice was found unsatisfactory, unconvincing and totally irrelevant and misleading and full of counter blame rather than replying to the crux of show cause notice.

And whereas you have confessed that an amount of Rs 3,108,060 voluntarily returned through M/s MA Traders the local supplier of medicines at KVSS Site Hospital (again through an illegal and unauthorized procedure) against the higher prices of cancer medicines were charged as admitted by you in your reply of the show cause notice.”

It further states: “Whereas there are sufficient documentary evidences available on the record against you as reported which shows you have embezzled misappropriated SS funds amounting to Rs 17,230,570.

And whereas you have violated the SPRRA Rules and especially did not call three quotations from different local suppliers of medicines for the best evaluated and competitive rates which caused a huge loss of SS funds a sum of Rs 17,230,570 due to irrational purchases made at KVSS Site Hospital during the financial year 2020-2021 (despite tendered medicines are available).”

“Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the E&D Rules 1973, I do hereby call upon you to reply the Final Show Cause notice within 14 days from the issuance of this notice as to why the major penalty of removal from services under E&D Rule 1973 should nmot be imposed upon you. In case you failed to submit reply within the mandatory period of 14 days an ex-parte decision will be taken against you in accordance with the E&D Rules 1973, it adds.

Soon after the final show-cause notice, Director Administration (Medical) issued a suspension letter to Dr Mumtaz Ali Shaikh till further orders.

“In the light of recommendation of Enquiry Committee and with the approval of competent authority, the services of Dr Mumtaz Ali Shaikh, presently posted as Chief Medical Officer SESSI Landhi Circle are hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect and till further orders on account of corruption and embezzlement of SS funds amounting to Rs 17,230,570 in purchase of cancer medicines and local purchase of medicines during his tenure as Medical superintendent at KVSS Site Hospital Karachi. He is directed to report to commissioner secretaria SESSI Head Ofice immediately.”

Health

Sindh Food Authority plans massive crackdown against adulterated food items

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KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority is all set to initiate massive crackdown against selling of tea mixed with chemical milk at chai hotels.

While taking note of the various complaints, the food authority officials launched large-scale inspection of milk and tea shops.

In the first phase, milk and tea leaf samples were collected from more than hundred shops across the city. These inspections have been conducted under the supervision of Director General Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar Hussain.

The samples obtained from the shops have been sent to the laboratory of Karachi University. These samples will be biologically tested to find out the facts.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar Hussain said that Ramadan is approaching and we will ensure the sale of pure milk and tea free from adulteration in Ramadan. Sale of adulterated food items will not be allowed.

Strict action will be taken against those who sell adulterated food items as per law.

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Sindh Food Authority keeps vigil on sale/use of substandard tea: DG Agha Fakhar

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KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority has initiated a robust campaign against the sale of substandard and adulterated tea by keeping an eye on both sellers and wholesalers.

In this regard, the officials of the authority led by Director General Agha Fakhar Hussain visited markets of tea sellers/whole-sellers. Stern action has been initiated against the whole-seller Julia Boserup.

While during the visit, shops were subjected to tests, and inspections were carried out. And, samples of all the tea varieties were also collected for further assessments from all the major wholesalers.

Speaking on the occasion, DG SFA Agha Fakhar Hussain said that the aim of such visits is to check quality of the food items so that consumers may get healthy food items.

He warned all those sellers and whole-sellers who are involved in selling sub-standard food items to avoid such practices otherwise a strict action would be taken against them according to SFA Act.

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Health

Sindh Food Authority to launch Star Rating Program for eateries

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KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority (SFA) is all set to launch the Star Rating Program in accordance with international standards for eateries operating in the province to ensure that hygienic and healthy food is served to the people of the province.

The star-rating program would be based on the food safety and hygiene of the hotels and restaurants. With the help of the star-rating program, the citizens will be enjoying safe, hygienic and healthy dining experiences and make proper decisions about choosing the right restaurant.

In the beginning, 250 restaurants in all over the Sindh will sign up for the star-based rating system.

Chief Minister Sindh Justice (Rtd.) Maqbool Baqar envisioned the food industry in Sindh to conform safe healthy and hygienic food up to the international standards. This pilot project is part of the vision of the caretaker chief minister, says Director General Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar Hussain.

Agha Fakhar says that this system will help determine the standards of the restaurants, adding that it will instill competition among restaurants for better food quality and other services.

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