INVESTIGATION CELL ISLAMABAD The high-ups of Directorate General of Pakistan Post in sheer violation of PPRA rules as well as departmental policy have purchased medicines in bulk on inflated rates under the garb of 'centralised purchase for obvious reason of getting maximum kickbacks, TheNation has learnt reliably. Besides these irregularities, the department has also bypassed the set procedure of getting the sample tests of the drugs from a recognised laboratory before purchasing medicines in bulk. The sources privy to the developments informed that the administration of Directorate General office while ignoring the previous practice of the department in which medicines were procured by Post Masters General (PMsG) through decentralised purchase had been engaged in purchasing medicines in bulk for the last two years during the tenure of incumbent Director General Mohammad Ahmed Mian, a federal secretary working on extension after reaching the age of superannuation and belongs to the hometown of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Documents available with TheNation revealed that a budget of about Rs 13 million was allocated for Directorate General office while an amount of about Rs 44 million was allocated for other PMsG for the fiscal 2009-2010 to purchase medicine for its postal employees. But the high command at DG office after making necessary paperwork utilised the budget allocation for medicines purchase for its circle offices irrespective of the fact that only Ministry of Finance has powers for such redirection of funds. The sources claimed that eight circle offices of Pakistan including PMG Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Hyderabad, Peshawar and Quetta had the financial powers and previously, they used to purchase medicines for its 21 postal dispensaries and three postal medical centres. But the incumbent administration of DG office purchased medicine in bulk without seeking indents from its medical centres as well as dispensaries ignoring their requirements and needs, which was otherwise prerequisite for such purchases. The sources claimed that Directorate General office purchased the medicine in such a haste that even the Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules were not followed, which otherwise was mandatory for such deals. The sources informed that getting the authorised laboratory tests of the medicines to be purchased in bulk was mandatory for all the government departments but it was astonishing to note that this rule was not followed. Similarly the fresh stock was purchased despite the fact that the existing stock was not fully consumed. The irregularities did not end here as according to the sources, despite bulk purchase of medicines, the gazetted officers in Directorate General office were also allowed local purchase of medicines and in this head millions of rupees were being paid to them. And on the top of it, these officers were entitled to monthly medical allowance, the sources further informed. The sources also claimed that the medicines were procured on inflated rates and the same medicines were available on much less price in the open market. Raja Munir, Deputy DG Administration, Hafiz Zafar Malik, Director Administration, Ghulam Akbar Dahani, PMG Islamabad, Dr. Saeed as well as Dr Shafiq-un-Nisa MOs Postal Medical Centres, and Mohammad Rafique, Medical Supervisor are some of the members of procurement committee of medicines and they had done all this on the direction of DG, the sources alleged. The investigations revealed that there were many irregularities in the Pakistan Post, which would be further revealed in the next stories. Ghulam Punjtan Rizvi, Additional DG Pakistan Post, when contacted by this scribe, dispelled the impression of kickbacks and said that it was the prerogative of DG Pakistan Post to purchase the medicines through centralised or decentralised mode of purchase. He further said that there was no need to seek indents from postal dispensaries as well as laboratory testing of samples before bulk purchase. He firmly refuted the claim that PPRA rules were violated in this case. About the question of local purchase for gazetted officers, he gave vague answer saying that the department was giving monthly medical allowance to its non-gazetted officers. To another question, he confirmed that DG office had procured more medicines in presence of previous stock giving amazing answer, It is necessary to have fresh stock in place before the consumption of old stock as how they would cater for the needs of employees. He claimed that the procurement mechanism of medicines was transparent and complete procedure was adopted including floating of tenders.