Srinagar: More than 100 dealers of essential drugs and medical equipment have stopped supplies to the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) following delay in payment for the past three years.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that JKMSCL dealers have decided to stay away from the tendering process of drugs and medical equipment.
“Nearly 106 suppliers who were participating regularly in the JKMSCL bids didn’t participate in the latest tenders. It has given rise to a serious issue as some life-saving drugs do not have an approved source,” the sources said.
In 2018, only 21 dealers participated in the tenders as against 127 who participated in 2015.
“It’s due to unnecessary delay in the release of payments and harassment faced by the dealers,” said an official privy to the process.
According to the suppliers, they are suffering due to the callous approach of JKMSCL to clear their outstanding dues.
“Most of our members are facing debt as the corporation has held up our payments unnecessarily for many years. Now we have decided to halt essential supplies if they don’t release the payments,” said Manzoor Hussain, General Secretary of Federation of Medical Suppliers and Traders’ Association (FOMSTA).
Hussain said that some suppliers associated with FOMSTA didn’t participate in the recent tender and have stopped supply of drugs and equipment to JKMSC.
“Some of the dealers have become bankrupt as the corporation owes us over Rs 40 crore since 2015,” he said.
Another supplier, Habibullah Zargar, said officials refused to clear his bills despite completion of all formalities.
“We have submitted documents including bills and quality checks of medicines as per the standard procedures. However, our payments are still held up,” he said.
He said the payment of a few blue-eyed dealers had been released.
Financial Advisor JKMSCL, Umar Khan, said the financial irregularities will be sorted out with few months.
“There were multiple issues in the corporation and we are fully aware of them. We have started streamlining the finance section and we are hopeful there will be no complaints from the suppliers and all their payments will be released,” Khan said.