Govt. decides to float short tender for textbook printing

Updated - June 18, 2015 05:39 am IST

Published - June 18, 2015 12:00 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

The Cabinet has decided to float a short tender for completing the printing of textbooks, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Briefing presspersons about the decisions of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Chandy said there was only one bidder for executing the job and hence, the Cabinet decided to float a short tender. Tender proceedings would be expedited, and the work would be completed soon.

Mr. Chandy admitted that there were lapses in the printing of textbooks, but these would be rectified. The government would look into the issue. About 80 per cent of the work had been completed. The government, he said, could not act like private presses and take decision bypassing rules and procedures.

Mr. Chandy said he was not aware that government presses had been directed to stop the printing work.

Probe launched

The Kerala Lok Ayukta on Wednesday opened an inquiry into the allegation that the State government-owned presses had deliberately delayed the printing of school textbooks to favour private contractors. The court ordered Additional Director General of Police B. Sandhya to conduct a preliminary inquiry to verify the truth or otherwise of the allegation.

Complainant’s charge

The complainant, Paichara Nawaz, told the court that the majority of the State syllabus students were yet to receive the textbooks for this academic year. The government was well aware that schools would reopen for next academic year as scheduled on June 1. However, the State-owned presses were yet to deliver on the order. For one, the government had formed the Kerala Books and Publication Society (KBPS) for the sole purpose of printing text books at an affordable rate.

Several recommendations to improve the efficiency of the society have remained on paper over the years. It was without a managing director or a finance controller for the past 2 years. The KBPS was not given the print order or the required amount of stationery in time.

There are lapses in the printing of textbooks,

but these will be

rectified: Chandy

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