VEHARI-District Officer Health (DOH) Naeem Malhi allegedly embezzled funds worth millions of rupees in the Health Department during the period of 2014 to 2016, an audit report shows.

According to the report, the DHO purchased disposable syringes 1ml (insulin 8mm 30G) at Rs15 each through invoice No 91 dated 01-09-15 for govt hospitals across the district. However, the rate offered for the item by Pak Madina Corporation Burewala was Rs5 and the rate as per market was Rs5.41. Similarly, the disposable syringe 3ml blister pack was purchased by the DO health at Rs7.25 from M/S Al-Mukhtar Drug House Vehari through invoice No 52 dated January 23,2015. However, the rate offered by Pak Madina Corporation was Rs2.75 and rate approved was Rs3.33.

The audit officer mentioned that due to weak internal control, these items were purchased at higher rates and a loss of millions of rupees was caused to the government by the DHO.

According to the report, the district officer health purchased ORS sachet at higher rates of Rs12 each despite the rate of Rs5.9 was approved by the health secretary for the financial year 2015-16. It caused a loss to the government amounting Rs431,880 due to the violation of the rules.

As per the paragraph 8 of the audit report, DHO Naeem Malhi drew conveyance allowance of Rs6.666 million. As per Government of the Punjab finance department letter FD.SR.1.9-4/86 (P) (PR) dated 21.04.14, the conveyance allowance is not admissible to those govt employees who are availing govt vehicles including bikes.

However, the DO drew Rs337,311 and showed irregular purchase of tyres for motorbikes used by vaccinators without demand for replacement of tyres during the financial year 2014-15 by calling simple quotation from the local traders.

The report was prepared by audit officer Mohib Ali Magsi. According to the audit report, corruption is at its peak in the Health Department. He said in his report that District Health Officer Naeem Malhi was found indulged in serious financial corruption. It is the worst example of embezzlement as millions of rupees additional spending was made by the officer.

Local people including Malik Tanvir Ahmed Advocate demanded action against the DOH. When contacted, DOH Naeem Malhi said, “Audit report is not permanent; all issues will be settled soon.” Meanwhile, DC Ali Akber Bhatti said that he was not authorised to take action against him.