Published On : Sat, Jun 30th, 2018

Anganwadi: Tender scam of 45 crores in machinery purchase

NAGPUR: The State government’s Women and Child Welfare Ministry, which procures various equipment and material for the activities of anganwadis, has allegedly violated rules of the procurement process to allot tenders to particular persons. The BIS License holders have therefore appealed to the Chief Minister to investigate the matter through an independent agency and also to cancel the tenders. The BIS License holders also threatened to approach the court if their demands are not met.

The Women and Child Welfare Ministry has been accused of many scams in the last four years, but the State government has always defended the ministry in the absence of any protest from the Opposition.

It may be mentioned here that under the ‘National Nutrition Mission’, the Central government’s Women and Child Welfare Ministry provides funds to the State to conducts its different programs through anganwadis.

In this regard, the State government floated tenders for the procurement of Rs 45 crores for the procurement of Mother and Child Weighing Scale, Infant Weighing Scale, Stadiometer (to measure height of grown-ups) and Infanto (to measure height of infants). A total of eight contractors participated in the tender for procurement of four types of weighing and measuring machines.

As per tender rules, only 12 BIS license holder contractors are eligible for participating in the tender. However, six contractors, who didn’t hold BIS License, were also allowed to participate in the tender along with two license holder contractors.

The officials from the concerned ministry allotted the contracts to Nitiraj Engineers Ltd, one of the two license holders, and two non-license holders, namely Raman Surgicals and Hardik Meditech.

One BIS licensee named Apple was disqualified from the tender process while other license holders didn’t participate due to the complex procedures.

With the help of officials from the State’s Women and Child Welfare Ministry, tenders were thus allotted to non-licensee contractors. Raman Surgicals reportedly got two tenders worth Rs 22 crores. It was alleged that the concerned officials from the Ministry had been promised a commission of 12% from each of the contractors.