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SESSI Mafia – Rs 57.64m medicines purchased against Rs21.45m budget  

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KARACHI: It seems there is no rules and regulations to check utilization of provincial exchequer as another mega corruption scandal surfaced at a hospital under control of Sindh Employees’ Social Security Institution (SESSI).

Ex Medical Superintendent, who is known for his unique style of corruption in purchasing of medicines, had purchased local medicines worth Rs 57.64 million during his posting at KVSS hospital, Site, Karachi.  

According to details, the commissioner, SESSI/competent authority had constituted an enquiry committee vide Office Order No SS-MW/306 dated 20th September 2021 to check local purchase of medicines in SESSI hospitals and circles.

The inquiry committee comprised Dr Javed Akhter Ujjan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer as Chairman while Khalid Hussain, Deputy Director GP Fund Board and Nadeem Khalid, Account Officer, SITE Circle as Members of the committee.

The inquiry committee was mandated to inquire the matter and furnish their report within fifteen days positively along with recommendation; to check the local purchase (LP) of medicines in hospitals and circles; to check the purchasing of cancer medicine included quoted rates, purchasing rates and quality of medicines, name of supplier which provide cancer medicines and to check the bills F10, F13.

According to official documents available with Sindhnews, the committee paid visits of KVSS hospitals on November 25 and 26 for the verification of local purchase of medicines made by the hospital administration during the financial year 2020-21 and observed the following.

The inquiry report revealed that there was a suspected collusive practice over the financial year 2020-2021 between hospital administration and LP suppliers for the wrongful gain just due to knowingly avoidance an obligation of approved tender listed medicines which caused embezzlement in the public money of SESSI at large.

The budget provision for the local purchase of medicine was Rs 21.45 million however the corrupt mafia surpassed the budget allocation and the amount rose to Rs 57.64 million.

The local suppliers included M/s MA Traders (Rs 32.829 million), M/s Wassey Traders (Rs 13.96 million), M/s Time Medical (Chemist) (Rs 4.97 million), and M/s Faisal Medical Store (Chemist) (Rs 5.88 million).

“This is also revealed that the 15 percent provision of LP not maintained by the hospital administration. This just random checking of record showing the 40 percent of the total budget of medicines purchased through aforesaid suppliers on account of local purchases of medicines. In the opinion of the enquiry committee the over all purchases may be remained quite high rate for LP at KVSS Hospital for the financial year 2020-2021.

The enquiry committee also noted the violation of SPPRA Rules in the procurement procedure of medicines through Local Purchases. Three quotations for the competitive rates not called by the authorities in accordance with the SPPRA Rules. All the above noted purchases through the Local Suppliers made on single quotation which caused loss of the institution’s fund. The provision for 15 percent budget for the purchase of medicines at the local level absolutely violated which may remained upto 50 percent of total allocated budget for the purchases of medicines.”

The inquiry report suggested that the centralized medicines purchase policy be adopted in SESSI so that the procurement procedure be managed and regulate perfectly in accordance with the SPPRA Rules in SESSI. Sindhnews repeatedly tried to seek official version from Dr Mumtaz Ali Shaikh however he did not respond back till filing of the report.

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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