Vigilance department to inquire into health scam: Patnaik

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 19 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today ordered an inquiry by the Vigilance department into the alleged kickback in the implementation of the World Bank-funded State Health System Development Project.

Mr Patnaik said the decision to hand over the inquiry to the Vigilance department was taken on the basis of the recommendation of the three-member fact-finding team, headed by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy.

The team was appointed on January 14 last to inquire irregularities in the implementation of the project and submit its report within three months.

Besides the Chief Secretary, the other two members of the team were Development Commissioner R N Bohidar and Agriculture Production Commissioner S P Nanda.

Mr Patnaik said stern action would be taken against the Minister and officials found guilty by the Vigilance department, adding the Chief Secretary had written to the World Bank to indicate the name of the Minister and the officers, who had taken the bribe.

Necessary action would be taken after the reply was received, he said.

The Detail Implementation Review on the OHSDP, prepared by the World Bank, alleged irreguarities in construction and purchase of equipment.

It also alleged that a Minister was paid 20 per cent to clear the purchase bill of equipment costing Rs 25 lakh.

The project was launched in Orissa in September 1997 and completed in 2003.

UNI BD SJC SYU RK2215

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