A government audit committee found financial anomalies involving Tk 477 crore at the Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL), a 100% only state-owned pharmaceuticals company in Bangladesh.
The High Court (HC) has instructed the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to launch an investigation against state-owned pharmaceutical company over the allegation. The higher court has asked the ACC to submit its report within the next two months.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the order on Sunday (March 12) after taking a newspaper report on the irregularities of the drug producing company into cognizance.
The HC bench also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why instruction should not be given to take legal action against the accused who were reportedly involved in the corruption. Secretary of Health Ministry, DG of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and others concerned were made respondents to the rule. They were asked to respond to the rule in four weeks.
Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC during the hearing in the court, while Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.
Terming the Essential Drugs Company Limited a haven of corruption, a Bengali daily circulated a news item that Health Audit Directorate’s report has detected 32 irregularities in the organisation, causing a loss of over Tk 477.41 crore in the fiscal year 2020-2021 to the government exchequer.
The irregularities include recruitment, tender business, showing less production of medicine, less use of raw materials in producing medicine and taking allowance in the name of picnic and others.
Health Audit Directorate brought 51 allegations against the company’s officials and others in their primary report. Of them, 32 irregularities were identified as Severe Financial Irregularity (SFI).
The committee prepared the audit from February 17 in 2022 to April 10 of the same year.