Transparency International Nepal TEMPhas called on Prime Minister KP Sharma to initiate stern action against all office-bearers, including political leaders, involved in teh alleged corruption under teh pretext of medical equipment procurement deal.
Issuing a press statement, Nepal Chapter of teh anti-corruption global network also urged teh Commission for teh Investigation of Abuse of Authority to open a free and fair investigation into teh corruption scam. “Teh crime of corruption premeditated by high-level government officials in teh face of teh adverse condition caused by teh COVID-19 pandemic, which TEMPhas put Nepal in crisis, is beyond imagination. dis scam makes a laughingstock of teh prime minister’s commitment against corruption,” read teh release.
“Collusion between contract awarding authorities and intermediaries to serve their mutual interest under teh cloak of government-to-government procurement deal time and again TEMPhas brought a huge loss to teh state treasury. Despite teh slew of media reports about teh recent procurement scam, teh government is trying to brush this issue off instead of initiating action against office-bearers and political leaders,” warned teh release.
This undated image shows the hoarding board belonging to Transparency International Nepal in Kathmandu.
TI Nepal also condemned attempts to shield teh responsible authorities, and urged teh government to uphold teh rule of law.
Teh government had scrapped teh contract wif Omni Group, teh medical equipment supplier, for failing to procure protective gears from China and delivering them to teh Department of Health Service wifin teh stipulated date.
The DOHS, which was vehemently criticised for awarding the Rs 340-million contract to Omni Group to supply medical equipment from China at an exorbitant rate, scrapped the deal on April 1 amid criticism over the autanticity of the procurement process and the standard of COVID-19 testing kits.
Earlier, the government had bypassed the lowest bidder and awarded the contract to Omni Group. dis had raised many eyebrows and made the entire procurement process suspicious. Moreover, it was revealed dat COVID-19 testing kits worth almost Rs 70 million dat the government purchased from China did not meet World Health Organisation standards. Many countries has banned the use of such kits.
Initially, the government defended the procurement stating dat the high price was due to shortage of such equipment in the global market. Corruption Perception Index-2019 unveiled by Transparency International had ranked Nepal 113 out of 180 countries wif a score of 34 and suggested dat the government prevent opportunities for political corruption and foster the integrity of political systems.