Govt appoints IO to probe alleged financial irregularities in Health Dept.

Srinager, May 10 (KNS): Pankaj Gupta, Managing Director of J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited, has been appointed as the Inquiry Officer to investigate financial irregularities in the Health Services Department of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a government order, the inquiry will delve into several critical aspects, including the unauthorized delegation of financial powers to Chief Medical Officers by the Director of Health Services in Kashmir. 

Despite the presence of a duly constituted Central Purchase Committee at the Directorate level, this violation of rules and regulations raises questions about the decision-making process and financial propriety.

Another area of focus will be the further delegation of financial powers by the Chief Medical Officer of Anantnag to Block Medical Officer, Saller, in contravention of extant rules. The inquiry aims to determine the reasons behind this delegation and its impact on financial discipline within the department.

The Inquiry Officer will investigate whether Block Medical Officer, Saller, exercised authority in violation of instructions issued by the Director of Health Services in Kashmir. The procurement of items available through JKMSCL, despite the mandate of the purchase committee, will be scrutinized to establish any compelling reasons for this deviation. The inquiry will also assess how Block Medical Officer Saller ascertained the reasonability of rates and whether they were justifiable.

Moreover, the inquiry will evaluate whether the procured items meet the requisite technical specifications. The Inquiry Officer has been entrusted with the responsibility of assigning accountability for any lapses in financial propriety at various levels within the Health Services Department.

Notably, the scope of the investigation extends to include the procurement activities related to the Baltal axis of the Sh. Amarnath ji Yatra during 2022, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of financial irregularities.

The inquiry officer has been given a timeframe of 20 days from the issuance of the order to submit the inquiry report. This swift turnaround highlights the urgency and seriousness with which the government is approaching the matter.

The appointment of Pankaj Gupta as the Inquiry Officer reflects the government's commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance. The findings of this inquiry are expected to shed light on the reasons behind the financial irregularities and hold responsible parties accountable for any violations of financial regulations within the Health Services Department of Jammu and Kashmir. (KNS)

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