OHSDP Scam; Health Minister rejects CBI probe

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 14 (UNI) The Opposition in Orissa Assembly today staged a walkout as Minister for Health and Family Welfare Sanatan Bisi rejected their demand for a CBI probe into the World Bank sponsored Orissa Health System Development Project (OHSDP) multicrore scam.

Replying to the admissibility of an adjournment motion, brought by the Opposition and calling attention by the treasury bench, Mr Bisi said a CBI inquiry was not needed as he was satisfied with the progress of the vigilance inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister.

The government, he said, was committed to take all steps necessary to get to the bottom of the irregularities and would proceed as per law against those involved in corruption or any wrong doing, adding that no body would be spared.

The Minister also refused to take any action on the basis of the world Bank report stating that it was an internal report and the World Bank had already made it clear that the report could not be used for any administrative and investigation purpose.

The Opposition, expressing displeasure over the reply of the Minister, walked out.

Mr Bisi said the OHSDP was implemented during 1998 to 2006 with the World Bank assistance to improve the quality of health services in the state. The initial project cost was Rs 415.58 crore which was later revised to Rs 307.98 crore.

He said while a sum of Rs 160.85 crore was made available for the civil works, Rs 66.27 crore was spent for the purchase of equipment which were procured as per the World Bank guidelines and approval.

The Detail Implementation Review(DIR) conducted by the World Bank during September 2006 to November 2007, found deficiencies and indicated fraud and corruption.

The DIR also found weaknesses in the World Bank's own handling of these projects.

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