Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
The Daily Post

EDCL makes example of procurement transparency

Shahidul Islam Bhuiyan

EDCL makes example of procurement transparency

-Procurement of quality goods in open tender

-Saving of Tk hundreds of crores more

-Prevention of waste and extravagance

We have given importance to increasing the production capacity and expanding the market. Certain rules were also followed in distribution.’

Professor Dr. Ehsanul Kabir Joglul, MD, EDCL

‘Unnecessary cost reduction has been made possible by ensuring procurement transparency and accountability.’

Syed Jahir Uddin Zamal, GM (Purchasing), EDCL



Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL) is a state-run drug manufacturing company. This very important institution established before the independence of the country has been showing trust and confidence in the production of government medicines. EDCL has set an example of transparency in procurement when there are allegations of irregularities in procurement and tenders in various government institutions. It can be a model for other institutions, say stakeholders.

This has been made possible by the skill and prudence of the present Board of Directors during the long run of EDCL. It was known from the history of EDCL that EDCL started its journey in 1962 as a government pharmaceutical laboratory. The pharmaceuticals manufacturing unit was named in 1979. It was registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act in 1983 as Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL). Initially, the state-owned enterprise functioned as a procurement and distribution agency for the government.

Later, EDCL started manufacturing medical products. Out of 6 plants of EDCL, 4 manufacture various medicines and 2 manufacture various products for birth control and birth control aids. The company is also selling to various organizations like SMC to fulfill the government's demand. Currently, the company is supplying 123 medicines to the government as per the demand of the people. The annual production of the company exceeds more than Tk thousand crores.

According to the sources of the company, they are exporting medicines to meet local demand. Since its inception, the medicines manufactured by the company have been supplied to government hospitals, civil surgeon offices, government health institutions, and non-profit international organizations such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), International Center for Diarrhea Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B) across the country. Not only the production and distribution of drugs but also the country's only government-owned drug manufacturing company, Essential Drugs Limited (EDCL), is moving forward amid the global coronavirus infection. The employees of all levels of the organization have worked relentlessly in compliance with the health rules despite the risks. Behind this success and progress is continuous production. And for production, the need to purchase raw materials and other materials comes first. EDCL conducts local and foreign procurement activities of more than Tk 1 thousand crore annually. EDCL has now turned into a profitable company due to the transparency of the procurement process.

EDCL's purchasing department is headed by General Manager (Purchasing) Syed Jahir Uddin Zamal. He told The Daily Post that procurement is the most important aspect of any manufacturing-oriented organization. The production capacity of the organization depends on the purchase. EDCL has its policy on procurement. In any procurement, open tender is first called.

Syed Jahir Uddin Zamal said, that after the preliminary verification of those interested in the tender, the work of the tender is allowed by monitoring the market through the expert committee. The expert committee includes representatives from the Medicines Administration, the Health Department, and the Survey Directorate. There is transparency at every step. There is no opportunity to provide any work outside the specified policy. If the tenders are not received as per the EDCL policy after inviting the tenders, then the tenders are invited again. EDCL has 100 percent accountability in purchasing.

Dr. Ehsanul Kabir Joglul is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EDCL to make it profitable and accountable. He told The Daily Post about the continuous progress of EDCL, saying that EDCL manufactures and distributes medicines that save people's lives. In a populous country like Bangladesh, the prime minister's dream is to ensure universal healthcare. It is very challenging but we are working under the leadership of the Prime Minister. When I took over in 2014, EDCL had an annual production of Tk 340 crore. Now it has increased to more than Tk 1 thousand 200 crores. I have given importance to market expansion behind increasing annual production. Government medical institutions are increasing. Our responsibility has increased with him.

He also said that apart from government hospitals and clinics, police, army, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), prison authorities are taking our medicine. I have brought in modern machinery to increase production capacity. We have kept maximum transparency in purchasing raw materials of medicines. By this it has been possible to prevent wastage. EDCL is now 100 percent free of irregularities as one of the partners in the development of medical services. Here specific policies are followed from purchase department to production and distribution. EDCL's medicines are being used by people from all walks of life. EDCL is also one of the partners in the revolutionary changes in the health sector led by the Prime Minister at the marginal level. EDCL is engaged in public welfare work by making maximum use of state resources.