Unmask ‘Irregularities’ In PPE Kit Purchases, Odisha Lokayukta Tells Vigilance

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Lokayukta has directed the Vigilance department to launch an investigation into the alleged irregularities into the purchase of PPE kits by the state government.

In its order on Monday, the Lokayukta said the probe would be on the reference whether essential pharmaceutical goods and critical equipment including three-layer masks were purchased at higher prices with an ulterior motive for illegal gain.

The Lokayukta observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, causing unforeseen consequences and hazards. In a situation like this, “the people have a right to know whether the response of the government to the present pandemic has been an honest one and up to their desired expectations”, it added.

It further directed the Director, Vigilance to ensure that the inquiry uder his supervision is conducted by an officer of the rank of SP/ASP with “impeccable integrity”.

The Vigilance will have to submit a preliminary report by the next date of hearing into the matter on February 15, 2021.

In its earlier hearing on November 23, the Lokayukta had expressed displeasure over the inconclusive report of the state government on the purchase of the PPE kits and directed the Chief Secretary to furnish a detailed report on December 7.

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