Delhi Accuses Central Govt’s Portal Of Allowing ‘Substandard’ Drug Sales, Demanded Probe Into Nationwide Implications

New Delhi: The Delhi government has responded to recent Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) raids at LNJP Hospital regarding the alleged procurement and supply of spurious and non-standard drugs, according to sources.

They revealed that the sub-standard items in question were purchased through the Central Government’s online marketplace known as GeM (Government e Marketplace). As per finance rules, government departments are mandated to obtain products from GeM, resorting to the open market only if unavailable on the portal through tenders.

Expressing surprise, the Delhi government highlighted the presence of vendors offering sub-standard products on the GeM portal, which is overseen by the Central Government.

“All the substandard items were bought from the Central Government portal called GeM. The rules of finance have made it mandatory that Govt Departments should buy products from GeM and only if they are not available on GeM, can they be bought from open market through tenders. It is surprising that the Central Govt is allowing such Vendors on its portal who are giving sub standard products,” the statement said. 

They further underlined the significance of investigating this matter, pointing out that these products might not only be supplied to the Delhi government but also to other state and central governments. The government urged for an investigation by a central agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to uncover the truth about GeM.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently directed a CBI probe into the alleged procurement and supply of such drugs in hospitals managed by the Delhi government and mohalla clinics. This decision followed a recommendation from Delhi’s Directorate of Vigilance to the Union Home Ministry on December 26, seeking a CBI investigation into the supply of “sub-standard” drugs to state-run hospitals. Earlier, Delhi’s Lt Governor VK Saxena had also written to the Home Ministry advocating for a CBI inquiry in this regard.

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