Even as the Telugu Desam Party leaders are trying hard to counter the allegations of Rs 2,000 crore tax racket detected by Income Tax department recently, yet another scam was exposed on Friday, involving senior TDP leader and former minister Kinjarapu Atchannaidu.
The Vigilance and Enforcement department has unearthed a multi-crore procurement scandal in Employees State Insurance Corporation that took place in the last five years in Andhra Pradesh, on the lines of a similar scam that surfaced in Hyderabad recently.
The V&E department pointed out that three officials – Dr B Ravi Kumar, C K Ramesh Kumar and G Vijaya Kumar who worked as directors of Insurance Medical Services (IMS) had placed purchase orders for procurement of drugs, medical equipment, surgical items, lab kits and furniture worth Rs 975.79 crore by violating procedures and guidelines.
The department said the purchases were made without constituting drug procurement committee and without calling for open tenders, causing huge loss to the government exchequer.
It said the directors had procured most of the drugs under non-rate contract instead of rate contract.
The department unearthed the names of several companies which got the contracts for supply of the material to the ESI hospitals without tenders.
One of them, Tele Health Services Pvt Ltd, was given the contract based on the recommendation from K Atchannaidu, who was then labour and employment minister In Chandrababu Naidu government.
Based on a letter written by Atchannaidu, one of the directors Ramesh Kumar issued work order to Tele Health Services on nomination basis without calling for open tenders.
The company was supposed to provide toll free services and ECG services on nomination basis.
As per MoU, the service provider has to provide Toll Free services to Patients whenever they call for assistance of pending reimbursement and referral bills.
The Director agreed to pay Rs.1.80 per month for each IP irrespective of calls attended.
The Director also entered into MoU with the same service provider to provide ECG services to the Patients @ Rs.480/- per ECG.
Whereas, ECG is available in the other hospitals at the maximum rate of Rs.200/- per ECG, the vigilance report said.