Odisha government removed a senior bureaucrat from the supervision of procurement of all essential pharmaceutical goods and other equipment required to tackle COVID-19 in the state.

Hemant Sharma, IAS, was allowed to assist the Health and Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary in supervision of procurement of all essential pharmaceutical goods and availability of additional PPEs, masks and other critical care equipment for COVID-19 in the state. His additional charge related to procurement of COVID19 equipment is hereby rescinded,” the General Administration department notification said.

Sharma is the principal secretary Industries department with additional charge of MSME.

He had been given further responsibility of heading the purchase committee.

The Opposition Congress was quick to note that there was a huge scam in purchases of masks, sanitizers , PPEs. Congress leaders pointed out at alleged discrepancies in the price and contracts awarded to different firms.

Procurement contract at inflated price to favoured firms have been detected charged the opposition. Earlier, the health secretary Nikunja Dhal had also been replaced in the midst of the pandemic raising eyebrows and triggering speculations over his objections to certain procurement related decisions.

He had been shifted to the Energy department but was asked to continue in the health department due to cyclone Amphan and handling of the power sector.