Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena today suspended payments on a stock of BTI with immediate effect imported illegally and secretly to the country by a group of officials with the blessings of a prominent sports personality turned politician, the Daily Mirror learns.
Minister Sirisena also instructed the Dengue Control Programme (DCP) not to use the BTI stock for dengue control.
The stock of BTI in the form of doughnut shaped cubes has been imported from the US at a cost of Rs.60 million without going through quality assurance, technical analysis or accepted importation procedure, a source familiar with the transaction told the Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity.
“The controversial import has been done by a group of officials of the health ministry Dengue Control Programme (DCP) with the connivance of the southern politician. The DCP has already paid Rs.15 million for a part of the stock that has been imported on the premise that it was to be used for dengue control,” the source said.
The Health Ministry imported a stock of 30,000 liters of BTI from Cuba last year for dengue control but the Ministry has not permitted outsiders to import the anti-larvae bacterial medium, he added.
Minister Sirisena has ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident after the files pertaining to the controversial import surfaced from a locked cupboard of a senior official of the Ministry. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)