Bhubaneswar : Odisha government procured spectacles for free distribution under its flagship universal eye health programme ‘Sunetra’ Yojana at a highly inflated price, pointed out the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest audit report.
Rapping the Odisha government, the CAG report which was tabled in the State Assembly yesterday found that “the firm awarded contract to supply spectacles at Rs 284 per unit in Odisha was also supplying spectacles at Rs 200 per unit to Tamil Nadu Medical Service Corporation. As such, the negotiated price was much higher than the prevailing price”,
The Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) had extended undue benefit to the firm in procurement of spectacles under ‘Sunetra’ Yojana, the report pointed out.
Accepting the negotiated price was not financially prudent and economical as it involved an extra expenditure from the State exchequer for this purchase under the SUNETRA scheme, it stated.
The Health & Family Welfare Department stated that the lowest bidder was technically rejected and the supply contract was awarded to the next lowest bidder, which had quoted the price of Rs 284 per unit of spectacles.
“The reply was not tenable as after evaluation of the price bids, OSMCL was aware that the price (Rs 284) quoted by the bidder was not reasonable as the same supplier was also supplying the spectacles at Rs 200 to Tamil Nadu Medical Service Corporation”, the CAG stated while pulling up the State’s Health authorities.
The government had launched the flagship eye health programme to provide free treatment for diabetes retinopathy and serious eye problems, including glaucoma and free spectacles for children for refractory error and other eye complications The State government had procured the spectacles in 2018 year at inflated price.