Maharashtra minister Munde in a sweet controversy

Rs 206 crore scam of purchases made on single day without tenders haunts Fadnavis govt

GN Bureau | June 25, 2015


#maharashtra   #pankaja munde   #tender   #scam   #devendra fadnavis  

The sweet jaggery is becoming bitter for Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde. A major portion of Munde’s purchase scam involves ‘chikki’ an inexpensive nutrition bar made of jaggery and nuts. Now, the case is with the the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The state ACB has written to the principal secretary over the complaint against her alleged role in Rs 206 crore scam. The issue relates to the purchase of a host of items including snacks, mats, dishes and books for children under the integrated child development services by the women and child development ministry, which Munde heads.

Curiously, the ‘chikki’ stands out as its purchase was to the tune of Rs 133 crore.

Munde has been accused of clearing these purchase orders worth Rs 206 crore on a single day instead of inviting tenders. Most of the state governments make purchases through tendering process, where the lowest price is preferred. Maharashtra follows e-tendering process for any deal over Rs 3 lakh.

The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have demanded Munde’s resignation saying she favoured select firms in awarding contracts.

But the minister has denied all wrongdoing and said e-tendering was not necessary as it was an extension of old contracts.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that, "prima facie there appears to be no wrong-doing (on Pankaja's part). If needed, we will probe the issue."

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