‘₹30 crore extra has been paid for machinery procurement’

Congress member P.R. Ramesh on Monday alleged irregularities in the procurement of machinery for the Government Tool Room and Training Centre and payment of ₹30 crore extra for it. Speaking in the Legislative Council, he demanded an independent inquiry or a House committee probe.

Raising the issue, the Congress member said that the standard document was not followed in drawing up the tender document and the qualification criteria for the supplier was violated. “The Transparency Act was neglected and the bid document was not considered. The pre-qualification tender mandatory for procurement above ₹10 crore was not called,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Defending the tender process, Minister for Higher Education C.N. Ashwath Narayan said, “Everything has been done legally and a pre-bid meeting was held. Show me one violation in the tender.” He said only authorised dealers and original equipment manufacturers had participated in the process.

In response, Mr. Ramesh alleged that the Minister was misleading the House. “Show me the workshop that the successful bidder had. Whatever you are saying is on paper, but is missing on the ground.” Providing examples of machineries procured at a higher cost, he said, “More than ₹30 crore has been paid in excess. A third-party inquiry would bring out the truth,” he added.

Dismissing the allegations, Dr. Ashwath Narayan said no guidelines had been violated and the tender accepting authority has not received a single appeal. “Procurement has been done at less than the estimated rate, except in one case, and [it is] comparable to procurement done at other national education institutions,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:06:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/30-crore-extra-has-been-paid-for-machinery-procurement/article36579891.ece

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