The central office of the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI), the implementing agency for the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP), has initiated legal action against its south zonal officer and four nodal officers citing financial irregularities and copying the model of BPPI for starting similar supply chain business in south India.
In addition to the in-charge officers, some distributors are also alleged to have erred in business and set clandestine adjustments with the errant officers, sources from BPPI informed Pharmabiz.
Case has been taken for siphoning off money and misusing Jan Aushadhi name and model. On the complaints of BPPI, vigilance department has started investigations, and till vigilance clearance is received the employees will not be relieved, said Sachin Kumar Singh, CEO of the BPPI in New Delhi.
Besides the south zone officer, action has been taken against nodal officers of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telengana. In Kerala and Karnataka, two nodal officers were holding charges of the operations. But, action has been taken against one of the officers only. BPPI’s all nodal officers and zonal officers are appointed on contract basis only.
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According to Sachin Singh, these in-charge officers were making fake coordination and network on the lines of BPPI’s Jan Aushadhi by canvassing employees of BPPI in charge of other states. On December 18 all these errant employees assembled in Kochi in Kerala without informing the company and employees from Madhya Pradesh also attended in the meeting, inquiry is going on, he said by adding that a group of such people has formed a Jan Aushadhi Sangh in Madhya Pradesh using the name of PMBJP and a case was registered against that fake agency.
Meanwhile, the employees who are alleged to have siphoned off money have tendered their resignations to the BPPI, but not all of them were accepted by the firm, said the CEO.
“They are under investigation for financial irregularities. Three of their resignations have been accepted, two were not. Further, none of them will be released unless vigilance clearance is given”, said the CEO over telephone.
The resignations accepted by BPPI were of Nishanth M Nair, in-charge nodal officer for north Kerala, Syamlal Harikrishnan, nodal officer for Telangana and Bharath Bhushan, one of the officers in Karnataka. In Kerala and Karnataka, the operation of PMBJP is looked after by two nodal officers. So, the resignation of one of the officers in these states does not in any way affect the operation of Jan Aushadhi scheme.
Whereas the resignations of Vijay Singh Rajput, zonal officer in south India, and of Saktheeswaran, nodal officer for Tamil Nadu, have not been accepted because of serious inquiry on siphoning off funds. According to the CEO, these employees were forcing other people to join their group for setting up a parallel retail chain business in association with some distributors.
When Pharmabiz contacted the zonal officer, Vijay Singh Rajput, he said he resigned from the post. Nodal officers in north Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Telengana also confirmed of their resignations. But Raj Shekhar, nodal officer in Andhra Pradesh said he has no plan to resign. The resigned persons have said they decided to quit the firm because BPPI is supplying very low quality generic drugs and no proper delivery of products to the stores from the warehouse. They further said, 46 medicines of PMBJP have been found Not-of-Standard-Quality (NSQ) despite they were undergone NABL testing.
The CEO said 900 types of drugs are supplied to all PMBJP centres by BPPI and some batches of certain drugs may have NSQs, but they are immediately withdrawn.