Reported by Swetaparna Mohanty
Cuttack, May 5:
While the Odisha government is trying hard to justify its order asking ‘cash-strapped’ blood banks in the state to sell blood plasma to a private company by saying it was meant to generate funds, a peep into the bank records of the Cuttack Central Red Cross Blood Bank (CCRCBB, say a different story.
Sources said, although its a voluntary body engaged in public welfare, the CCRCBB’s financial health is good and that it has paid around Rs 40 lakh towards income tax in three instalments towards an unutilized deposit of around Rs 4 crore in its bank account.
The sources said the CCRCBB authorities had to pay Rs 40 lakhs in three instalments for the period 2005 to 2008 after they failed to provide any satisfactory explanation to the income tax authorities about why such a big amount were kept parked in their bank account.
Following public outrage over the sale of blood plasma to a private company, the Reliance Life Sciences, two state government controlled bodies, the Odisha State Aids Control Society (OSAC) and State Blood Transfusion Cell (SBTC), had come up wit the argument that blood banks in Odisha were facing a severe resources crunch and that the proceeds of blood plasma sale would be utilized for their upkeep and development.
A well-informed source alleged that the reason behind the poor functioning of blood banks is the lack of sincerity and commitment on the part of the state government agencies as well the people who manage them.
“A time-bound judicial probe will unravel shocking facts that the state agencies are trying to hide under the pretext of lack of funds,” the source said.