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Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 06, 2012
Maharashtra chief secretary JK Banthia, probing alleged irregularities in awarding of contracts to politically influential persons under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in the state, will examine the report of the office of commissioners to the Supreme Court, checking if the terms of the contract are in accordance with apex court’s guidelines.

Banthia will also hear the contractors’ versions on the allegations.

“These are the broad terms of reference of the enquiry I will be conducting. We should come to some conclusion in approximately two weeks,” Banthia told HT. “The government will also look at whether manufacturing for such schemes could have been done in a decentralised manner,” he said a day after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced a probe into the scam.

The enquiry will look into allegations of financial bungling in the flagship ICDS that provides food supplements to undernourished children and mothers.

According to the commissioners’ report, six private contractors siphoned funds through the ICDS by floating fake women’s organisations controlled by their family members. They did this by getting around a 2004 Supreme Court order that said only self-help groups, mahila mandals and village communities be given the contracts.