Bhubaneswar, June 5 (IANS) Odisha Industries Secretary Hemant Sharma has been relieved of the duty of supervision of procurement of all essential pharmaceutical goods and other critical care equipment to combat coronavirus in the state.
"His additional charge related to procurement of COVID-19 equipment has been rescinded," said a notification issued by the General Administration Department.
The Odisha government on Friday relieved several other senior IAS officers from their COVID-19 related responsibilities.
The procurement committee was in controversy after the Odisha State Medical Corporation Ltd (OSMCL) denied purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits from various suppliers.
Over 30 trucks loaded with PPE kits, masks and sanitisers from various suppliers were found standing outside OSMCL in Bhubaneswar for several days last week as the state government refused to accept the kits. IANS was the first to report on stranded trucks.
The government accepted only PPE kits that arrived here by May 31.
OSMCL had floated a tender for the procurement of the kits. The initial deadline was July. However, it informed the suppliers that it would not accept deliveries after May 26, said sources.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and BJP demanded a probe into the alleged irregularities in the procurement of PPE kits and other critical care equipment.
Senior Congress leader Ramachandra Khuntia demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik never tolerates any corruption. The state government will probe the matter and take action in case of any foul play," Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Sashi Bhusan Behera said.