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Emergency Procurement: I Have Not Been Questioned Up To Now, Says PM

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The Private Notice Question was based on emergency procurement during Covid-19 pandemic. The leader of the opposition wanted to know if members of High-Level Committee have been questioned by any investigating body. He also wanted to know if it has been established that late Soopramanien Kistnen acted as intermediary. The answer of the Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth was long. But he revealed that the High Level Committee comprised of himself, Deputy Prime Minister Steven Obeegadoo and various ministers (Foreign Affairs, Finance, Labour, Commerce and Health) and various officials. He also explained that it is now the Financial Crimes Commission which is investigating the case on emergency procurement. He recalled that the Director General of the FCC cannot divulge any information except to the Parliamentary Committee. He also said that he has not been questioned by any investigating body but is not in a position to say of any other member of the committee has been questioned. Concerning the role of Soopramanien Kistnen, the Prime Minister said that the CID of Quartier Militaire and police of Moka are investigating his death. Shakeel Mohamed asked the Prime Minister if any member of the High Level Committee has been contacted by potential suppliers. The Prime Minister conceded that some suppliers have sent communications to his Private Office which has forwarded them to ministries concerned. “Is it normal that Minister use their personal emails and flout directive 44 of the Public Procurement Act?” This was the questioned asked by Shakeel Mohamed who insisted that all exchanges must be recorded. He recalled that the Director of Audit reported that no records were kept during that period. “There is an enquiry ongoing. It is for the enquiry to determine whether there have been breaches,” the Prime Minister responded.

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