Transparency International concerned at vaccine deal by Sindh

Pakistan Observer

The global corruption watchdog Transparency International has Tuesday written to National Command Operation Center (NCOC) chief Asad Umar expressing reservations over the purchase of one million Covid vaccine doses being made by Sindh’s government from a private sector it was learnt on Tuesday.

The watchdog noted Sindh is making a purchase of the Chinese CanSino vaccine in violation of the federal government’s instructions which is illegal.

TI said Sindh is purchasing the vaccine doses at exorbitant rates which will reflect adversely on the national kitty. It said the national exchequer will have to bear Rs30 billion in losses owing to this purchase.

Sindh government is purchasing the vaccine at a price Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) set for the private sector which means Sindh shall pay Rs4,225 against each dose it buys, while ideally for Pakistan CanSino dose costs Rs1,000.

If Sindh buys at a price set by DRAP, which is charging on CanSino doses about 323 per cent more than the pricing policy, it will cause huge monetary damage to the country, IT said.

Transparency International further said in its letter to NCOC that Sindh is making these purchases via a middleman instead of directly buying from the company making vaccines.

NCOC must advise the provinces to only purchase the vaccine doses from approved and designated companies to curb corruption and supremacy of law.

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