“Company asked to provide nearly 3 lakh laptops to start with”

The Indian unit of Lenovo Group Ltd. has emerged as the lowest bidder for the Tamil Nadu Government's laptop scheme, under which nine lakh students of government and state-aided colleges and high schools would be given free laptops.

Given the size of the order, the government has decided to distribute it among six successful bidders.

The government recently floated tender inviting bids from laptop manufacturers worldwide. Official sources said Lenovo quoted a price of around Rs.13,939 per laptop, which is lower than its market price by Rs.10,000. The second lowest bid of Rs.14, 452 was made by HCL Infosystems.

Though no agreement has been signed, the sources said Lenovo has been asked to provide nearly three lakh laptops to start with. According to the tender documents, the lowest bidder is given first preference to supply at least 60 percent of the total volume. Acer, Wipro and HP will also be given the order, but in fewer numbers.

Since the State Government had planned to begin distributing the promised laptops on September 15 to mark the birth anniversary of former chief minister C.N. Annadurai, a short-term tender was floated at the time, and HP and Acer had won that bid to supply 6,600 laptops at an estimated price of Rs.14,040 per unit. The remaining machines must be delivered by the winning bidders in the next five months, the sources said.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012