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news details
Committee undermines financial codes, violates purchasing norms
Encashing pandemic: Procurement of hospital beds in SKIMS
10/20/2020 12:35:42 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Oct 19: The procurement of hospital beds in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic has come under the radar as reports are coming to fore that the administration of this premier health institution had undermined the financial norms during the purchase process. Sources privy to this divulged to Early Times that COVID-19 has emerged as a blessing in disguise for the management of the institute as it has allegedly violated the financial codes in procurement of hospital beds, lockers and other accessories in order to benefit few blue eyed people.
Sources said that the estates wing there projected the requirement of 250 beds in the hospital while as the fact remains, as per the insiders, that only 70 to 80 beds were needed for the newly constructed infectious disease block in the institute.
The process, said sources, was allegedly carried out without tendering and by violating the financial codes. Furthermore, the specifications of the items were sought on quotations. Reports informed that the supply order in question was placed without tendering under order No SIMS/229/HF/2020-4155-60, Dated 29-04-2020.
As per the insiders, the supply order was ironically inspected by a committee whose convener is incharge of the estates wing. “It means that the person who formulated and processed the requirements by violating the codes was tasked to inspect the items,” sources said.
It was informed that there was gross violation of norms found during the procurement process by several members of the inspection committee who raised the issue that the items received were not as per the specifications and that gross discrepancy was found in length, breadth and weight of the hospital beds, lockers and other accessories. “Most of the members of the inspection committee were of the opinion that supply order be rejected on the pretext that the supplier has not complied to specifications. However, those at the helm in the institute pressurised the whistle blowers and coerced them to silence during various tactics. This is open plunder of public money that needs to be probed by the government without delay,” said sources.
Sources divulged that in order to downplay the matter, the committee put the issue under the carpet by stating in the final note that “keeping in view the pandemic COVID-19 and in order to cater the influx of patients in the hospital, the committee accepted these items and recommended to impose 4% penalty on overall ordered value. It is therefore proposed that the approval may be granted for the modification in the specification and other recommendation of the committee reflected in the inspection copy of which is enclosed herewith for perusal. The case is therefore placed beef the purchase sub- committee for consideration.”
Sources said that the government must intervene and put a lid over the practices that are going on in SKIMS unnoticed and unchecked. They said that if the anti- graft bodies do not probe the issue in hand, it will amount to wastage of public money and those involved in the violation of coal formalities will go unpunished.
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