Washington: Accusing two India-based firms of indulging in collusive practices, the World Bank has declared the firms ineligible to be awarded contracts financed by it.
While Nestor Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Nestor) was debarred for a period of three years, Pure Pharma Ltd (Pure Pharma) was debarred for an year, it said in a statement.
Both firms were found to have engaged in collusive practices in connection with the Bank-financed Reproductive and Child Health Project (RCH-I) in India.
The action was taken after investigations found the firms guilty of impropriety in procurement of pharmaceuticals under the RCH-I project.
This was the first case heard by the Bank’s Sanctions Board, which replaced the Sanctions Committee in October 2006 when the Bank’s Sanctions Reforms became effective.
“The Sanctions Board decision is in keeping with the Bank’s mandate to ensure that its funds are properly utilised, and in this case, it was found that the two firms had behaved improperly and the requisite penalties were imposed,” Danny Leipziger, Vice President of the World Bank Group and Chairman of the Bank’s Sanctions Board, said.
The Sanctions Board weighed the evidence presented both by Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) as well as the firms themselves. In the end, it found that both firms had engaged in sanctionable misconduct.
“The Reproductive and Child Health program was designed by the Government of India to help deliver much-needed medical services to some of the most vulnerable citizens. The actions of both companies harmed the very people this project was meant to help,” said Praful Patel, World Bank Vice President for South Asia.