Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Sep 24, 2004
Industry & Economy
Kerala's draft policy aims to streamline drugs procurement
Thiruvananthapuram , Sept. 23
THE State Government's draft policy on procurement of drugs, released here on Thursday, aims at evolving a systematic and uniform approach in the decision making process relating to the procurement of essential drugs and supplies.
The Health Minister, Mr K.K. Ramachandran Master, told newspersons that the policy laid emphasis on making available quality drugs of the specified quantity at the appropriate time and place and at the most competitive prices.
The policy also seeks to put in place an efficient and economic system based on the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission for the procurement of goods/ services in a transparent manner.
According to the draft policy, four different lists of essential drugs and supplies will be drawn up, taking into account disease pattern, the services offered and the requirement.
The drug formulary will be prepared for four kinds of institutions dispensaries and mini primary health centres; primary health centres and community health centres; taluk hospitals; district hospitals and medical college hospitals.
For procuring drugs and supplies, a minimum of Rs 100 crore (at current level ) has to be made available in the Budget. Also, an advance allocation should be released to the Central Purchase Committee, without any treasury restrictions, on a quarterly basis.
Such an arrangement, says the policy, has been suggested in order to ensure that the suppliers are sure of timely payment, which, in turn, will help quote competitive prices. As of now, it is noted that the suppliers add 18-25 per cent of the cost towards interest for late payment.
Besides, the drugs and supplies should be purchased with utmost care taking into account factors such as past consumption pattern, availability of existing stock, outstanding supplies and the shelf life of the drugs and supplies.
The estimated prices of drugs and supplies should be based on the rates quoted by the manufacturers periodically and the prices notified by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority. In the case of bidding, the policy says that the department will follow the rate contract procedure as per the provisions laid out in the Store Purchase Manual.
If the value of the procurement of a single item is less than or equal to Rs 20,000, the limited tendering procedure as envisaged in the Manual will be followed. As for items of proprietary nature, the purchase could be made on single tender basis.
The qualification criteria shall be based entirely on the capability and resources of prospective bidders to execute a particular contract satisfactorily. The aspects to be taken into account in this respect include the experience and past performance on similar contracts during the previous three years, capabilities pertaining to personnel, equipment and manufacturing facilities and financial standing as per the annual reports of the previous three years.
The criterion of market standing of five years in the items quoted need not be insisted in the case of State/ Central public sector undertakings, which will be given price preference as provided in the Store Purchase Manual. In the case of small-scale units, a market standing of one year and annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh alone should be insisted upon.
The procurement policy will be reviewed at least once in three years so as to incorporate modifications.
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