The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) has categorically refuted claims suggesting failure in contraceptive procurement. The Ministry has issued a press release stating that the reports are ill-informed and provide misleading information. The release was issued on December 12, 2023.
This press release was issued in response to recent media reports suggesting a potential setback to India’s family planning programme on account of these alleged failures in contraceptive procurement by the Central Medical Services Society (CMSS)
The CMSS, based in New Delhi and operating as an autonomous body and Central Procurement Agency, is responsible for procuring contraceptives for the National Family Planning Programme and National AIDS Control Programme. The MOHFW has stated that contrary to the media reports, the CMSS has successfully procured 5.88 crores pieces of condoms for the Family Planning Programme in May 2023. The current stock position of condoms is deemed sufficient to meet the requirements of the Family Planning Programme.
Additionally, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) is presently receiving 75% of its free condoms supply from M/s HLL Lifecare Ltd. The remaining 25% quantities for 2023-24 are in the process of being placed with the CMSS, based on recent approvals. The NACO’s requirements are being met through a 66 million pieces order from M/s HLL Lifecare Ltd., which is currently under supply, and further indents for one year requirements will be placed with both M/s HLL Lifecare Ltd. and CMSS with the necessary approvals.
The CMSS has taken proactive steps to address any concerns, having published tenders in the current financial year for the procurement of various varieties of condoms. These tenders are at an advanced stage of finalization, ensuring a robust supply chain.
The Union Health Ministry is actively conducting weekly review meetings to oversee the tendering process and supply position of medicines and medical items procured by the CMSS for various programmes under the Ministry. Officials have emphasized that there is no cause for worry, and the Family Planning Programme will continue without any disruptions.