Bhubaneswar, Jan 23 ( Odidha.in) When the mark-sheet scam of the then minister for school and mass education was exposed by the media, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik preferred to order for probe by Chief Secretary Ajit Tripathy.
Bishnu Das had also denied involvement in the scam. But finally when the Chief Minister was forced to handover the inquiry to the Crime Branch, Das had to quit the post on moral grounds.
Similarly in the World Bank scam also, though Sachi Satpathy a member of the Evaluation Committee of World Bank virtually exposed the name of a senior minister, the Chief Minister also resorted to the old trick of initiating probe by Chief Secretary Tripathy, knowing well that the Chief Secretary can not summon a minister to conduct the probe.
Despite hue and cry by the opposition for CBI probe, the Chief Minister ordered for inquiry by the State Vigilance Department, which have lot of practical limitations to probe into allegations against any sitting minister.
He has also asked the Chief Secretary to write to the World Bank to name the minister and officials who have accepted bribe of Rs 5 lakhs from a supplier.
The Department of Institutional Integrity of the Bank though has mentioned about the bribe in its Detailed Implementation Review Report, at the same time it has shifted the responsibility to the Government of India to conduct investigation in the matter raised in the DIR.
However, while the former ministers during the Congress rule and also under BJD-BJP Government have simply denied their involvements and were keen to avoid CBI inquiry,
the present minister for Health and Family Welfare, Duryodhan Majhi have shown his courage in demanding CBI probe to expose the really corrupt minister and bureaucrats involved in the OHSDP scam. None of the former ministers have so far dared to demand CBI probe in order to prove their transparency in the deal.
At page 188 of the report it has been categorically mentioned, that “the DIR reviewed the OHSDP because, during the Department of Institutional Integrity’s (INT) investigation into the Bank’s Reproductive and Child Health Project, a firm admitted paying INR 500,000 (USD 11,000) to the Orissa State Minister of Health and other ministry officials to facilitate the payment of INR 2.5 million (USD 55,500) in non-Bank-funded invoices. In addition, the Bank had received four complaints alleging collusion and corrupt practices by OHSDP bidders and PSA officials.”
Taking cue from this it is easy to find out during whose tenure as the minister for Health and Child Welfare, a deal for Rs 25 lakhs were made to any particular firm.
Even then there is move to hush up the matter to shield a corrupt minister whose activities have tarnished the image of Naveen Patnaik Government as well as the State.
Including the OHSDP in the DIR also brought a state-specific project within the DIR’s scope; this is significant because state-specific projects are an increasingly significant feature of the Bank’s lending to India and its health sector.
Pursuant to its risk-driven methodology, the DIR selected areas to review based on an analysis of the project’s fiduciary and development risks.
By focusing on high-risk areas, the DIR maximized its ability to identify indicators of fraudulent or corrupt schemes that could significantly affect the project’s outcomes.
So far the Government has not announced the terms of reference of the probe by the Vigilance Department. After demand by the present Health Minister Duryodhan Majhi for C.B.I. probe, Chief Minister’s ignoring such a sensible demand has put question mark on the integrity of the BJD-BJP Government headed by Naveen Patnaik .
After demand by the present Health Minister Duryodhan Majhi for C.B.I. probe, Chief Minister’s ignoring such a sensible demand .