NCP accuses minister of norms violation in vaccine contract
The NCP on Friday alleged that Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar and some officials tweaked the tender procedure to award a contract for suppling vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease found in milch animals
The NCP on Friday alleged that Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar and some officials tweaked the tender procedure to award a contract for suppling vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease found in milch animals.
"Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar and some officials from his ministry tampered with the tender procedure to award the contract to Biovet Private Limited company," Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said.
FMD can affect milk production in animals and could also be fatal in certain cases. Jankar is slated to answer the allegations tomorrow. The vaccine was supposed to be distributed to prevent FMD and it is to be given twice a year.
However, the government has suspended distribution of the vaccine after the state Industries department termed a short-tender for the same as void. "Due to this mess up, there is no supply of vaccine since January this year, as a result of which many animals have contracted FMD," Munde told the Upper House.
Meanwhile, a senior Animal Husbandry department officer said that Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), an arm of the National Dairy Development Board, selected distribution of vaccines was rejected on the grounds that it had quoted a higher price per unit in Maharashtra and a lower price for the same in neighbouring Telangana.
"This (no supply of the vaccine) has deprived 2.07 crore animals in Maharashtra of vaccination since May this year," the officer said. Another official said that and it competes in every state for vaccine supply.
"The IIL had won the contract last year for the supply of vaccine in 2017. However, the IIL tender was cancelled due to an adverse remark mentioned by a Deputy Secretary of Animal Husbandry and Dairy department, as the company had supplied the vaccine to Telangana at lower rates," he said.
As per rules, no vaccine company is supposed to supply same vaccines to other agencies at lower rates in Maharashtra. "IIL has not violated this rule but its tender was cancelled by Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar on the basis of the remarks made by the deputy secretary," the official said.
Due to cancellation of the tender, milch animals in Maharashtra could not be administered the shot since January this year. "After IIL won the contract (initially), the state government negotiated the price with the company for vaccine supply. But a deputy secretary from the same department made an adverse remark against IIL and forwarded it to secretary," sources said.
"However, the secretary rejected the remark and stated that the procedure was as per the rules. The principal secretary of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development department also upheld the concerned secretary's remarks. However, Mahadev Jankar struck down the remarks of both the officials and cancelled the work order," they said.
Meanwhile, some milch animals contracted FMD and the ministry decided to go for a short-tender process to expedite the supply of vaccine and in this process, Biovet Private Ltd was awarded the contract to supply vaccine. "The IIL complained to Maharashtra Industries department about the short-tender procedure used for awarding the contract to Biovet Private Limited. After studying the complaint, the state industries department termed its short-tender void on November 22," sources said.
Biovet Private Ltd had quoted a rate of Rs 7.70 per dose in Maharashtra and Rs 6.25 per dose in the current year in Punjab, Haryana and West Bengal. "If same rule is to be applied, Biovet's contract should have been cancelled. Why are there different rules for Biovet and IIL?" asked the official.
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