KATHMANDU, Dec 5: The Public Account Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives has requested the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to provide the details of health supplies purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic to re-investigate the Omni scam related to the procurement of medicines.
The Committee is reviewing various complaints and pending matters from the previous term. Secretary Ekram Giri mentioned that the committee sent a letter to the MoHP a week ago, seeking information on health materials purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the letter urged the ministry to furnish details promptly, the committee's secretariat reported that no response has been received yet. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Nepal, the government implemented a lockdown in April 2020.
During that period, the government agreed with a company named Omni Business Corporate International to procure necessary health equipment from China. However, objections were raised, citing concerns about the non-competitive selection of Omni and irregularities in the procurement process. In the previous term of the House of Representatives, the PAC had initiated discussions on this matter but couldn't conclude the investigation.
The Public Procurement Monitoring Office also submitted a report that the procurement process of health materials was against the law. On December 18, 2020 the PAC instructed the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to conduct an in-depth investigation into the Omni scam.