The Hardoi district administration on Monday suspended the health department’s chief pharmacist, days after BJP MLA Shyam Prakash wrote to the Chief Development Officer (CDO) about alleged corruption in the purchase of medical equipment.
District Magistrate Pulkit Khare has told officials to inform MLAs about how the money donated by them from their Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development (MLALAD) fund was being spent to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Khare told The Indian Express, “In his [Prakash’s] letter, two issues were written about. First was that he was not being informed about how the Rs 25 lakh given by him from MLA fund is being used. Second was regarding a news article that said in the health department funds have been mishandled at district level. I addressed both his issues today.”
The magistrate said he had instructed the CDO that each MLA should be told about how the funds given by them were being utilised. “After my directions, the CDO has informed all MLAs regarding the usage of the funds given by them. Out of the Rs 25 lakh given by him [Prakash], Rs 14 lakh has been used and articles have been ordered for the remaining amount, which are pending.”
Khare said the chief pharmacist was suspended after irregularities were detected in the utilisation of funds allocated for the purchase of bandages for Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres.
“The amount is handled by the CMO, and the chief pharmacist. Irregularities were found in the use of those funds and I have taken action by suspending the chief pharmacist and have written to the state government regarding disciplinary action. I spoke to the MLA and informed him about the action. The MLA has written another letter expressing satisfaction over the action taken by us,” said the District Magistrate.
Earlier in the day, Prakash told The Indian Express that around 25 days back he had transferred Rs 24.99 lakh to the district administration for purchase of medical equipment.