Corruption, irregularities gripped health sector
Golam Mostafa Jibon: Motazzerul Islam Mithu, influential contractor of health sector and Abdur Razzaque, Chairman of JMI group along with five others have brought under scanner by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) due to allegation of corruption and irregularities.
Meanwhile, authorities concerned of ACC issued summon against them asking to appear before the ACC office on July 8 and 9 respectively along with necessary documents to face interrogation on the basis of corruption allegations.
Among the summon receivers, Motiur Rahman, Coordinator (Medical Team) of Toma Construction, Aminul Islam Amin, Chairman of Elan Corporation Limited and Humayun Kabir, Director of Meditech Imaging Limited are significant.
According to the allegation, Mithu has been established an invisible supremacy in the purchasing activities of the country’s health sector for the last two decades.
Though, the journey of Mithu syndicate was started in 1991, his position became stronger in 2001 in the Health Department during the regime of BNP-Jama’at Jote.
Then, he did not see behind again. He turned into multimillionaire overnight. He amassed crores of Taka and huge wealth illegally by carrying massive corruption and irregularities in the procurement activities of health sector.
At present, Mithu has become owner of huge properties. He has at least 10 multistoried buildings including several residents, a college on his mother name and a hospital on his father name in Rangpur. Besides, he has over 1000 Bigha of lands in Mohipur area of the district.
Sources said, Mithu opens several institutions each year with new names to hide his corruptions and anomalies.
There is a complained that, some dishonest officers of ACC had been providing assistance to him for long in which he has still remained out of reach.
Mithu is also a loan defaulter of Tk 1500 crore until November last belongs to his some institutions including Dhaka Central International Medical College and North Bengal Poultry.
In recent time, allegation has intensified against Mithu for establishing supremacy in the purchases of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) and masks under supervision of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to tackle corona pandemic. He has embezzled hundreds of crores of Taka through a powerful syndicate, claimed immediate past former Director of Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) Brigadier General Mohammad Shahid Ullah.
According to the allegation, Motazzerul Islam Mithu has been controlling everything like procurement of low quality Personal Protective equipments (PPE), masks, formulation of budget, setting of bidding process etc. He is currently controlling the health ministry’s purchases sitting outside of the country. But, none dares to open mouth against him.
Experts said, to reduce corruption in health sector, there is needed drives like anti-casino drives. If such as drives are launched in the health sector immediately, the corruption and irregularities may be reduced, they opined.
At least 14 contractors of the health sector have been blacklisted for corruptions and irregularities. But, the name of Mithu did not get space in the list, which has created agitation among the civil society members.
Iqbal Mahmud, Chairman of ACC said, “ACC wants to follow zero tolerance policy against corruption and anomalies. This is why, we are going to launch further investigation against some contractors including Mithu and Razzaque to find out the real facts. Stern action would be taken according to the law, after investigation.”
Humayun Kabir Pitu, a close associate of Mithu is now maintaining his businesses in the country as he is now living at abroad, sources said.