K'taka accounts body to reject Health dept's responses

Karnataka public accounts panel to reject Health department responses on Covid equipment procurement

The PAC has been doggedly chasing the government over alleged irregularities in the money spent to fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Karnataka Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ramalinga Reddy. Credit: DH File Photo

In a dramatic development, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Karnataka Legislature decided to reject the responses provided by the Health & Family Welfare department on procurement of equipment and supplies to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the PAC, under its chairman Ramalinga Reddy, objected to the "incorrect information" provided by department officials during the PAC hearing on Tuesday, according to sources.

The PAC also decided to submit a report to the Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and Legislative Council chairperson Basavaraj Horatti based on complaints received. It also observed massive differences in responses provided by the government on procurement when compared with the documents it had.

Also Read | Discrepancies in RAT Covid kits procurement: PAC

The PAC has been doggedly chasing the government over alleged irregularities in the money spent to fight the Covid-19 pandemic since the outbreak of the virus last year.   

During the meeting, remarks made by the Comptroller & Auditor-General (CAG) over setting up ICUs in five public hospitals — Bangarpete, Channarayapatna, Mulbagal, Nanjangud and Dharwad district hospital — were also highlighted.

The PAC noted that since ICUs at the facilities were not functional, the CAG had classified the expenses incurred as 'unfruitful expenditure'. PAC also pulled by the department for allowing several crucial equipment required to fight Covid-19 lie idle at various facilities.

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