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It will take us two more months to come to a decision, says Dairy Development Secretary

Minister for Dairy Development S.M. Nasar on Tuesday clarified that Aavin was not manufacturing any health mix meant for expectant mothers. It was only planning to manufacture a health mix, like Sathumaavu, meant for general use.  

Addressing presspersons at the Aavin headquarters in Nandanam, he said that for the past two days some political leaders were unnecessarily stating that a loss of ₹77 crore had been incurred due to the Health Department not procuring the still-under research mix from Aavin. All government departments, including Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department were procuring ghee, butter and other products only from Aavin,“ he explained. 

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said that his department had procured ghee worth ₹34.49 crore from Aavin since the programme to provide eight items to mothers for ante-natal care was launched in 2018. In fact, the tender conditions stipulated that Aavin ghee alone should be procured for the packs to be distributed to expectant mothers. The health mix for the mothers-to-be was prepared according to WHO guidelines and the tenders for procuring the kit had not even been finalised. Mr. Subramanian further explained that a member of the Planning Commission had suggested that the mix could be procured from Aavin.  

Dairy Development Secretary T.S. Jawahar explained that after the suggestion, several rounds of discussions were held. “We have been researching about the possibility of such a product and if it would be profitable for us. It will take us two more months to come to a decision,” he said.  

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that such purchases were always scrutinised by the AG. The technical bid for purchasing the kits were yet to be opened. He said that such issues were diverting public attention from the pandemic. There are COVID-19 cases in several districts and unless there is public cooperation, these cannot be brought under control. The Chief Minister M.K. Stalin was reviewing the cases daily, he added.  

Source : The Hindu June 07 2022

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