It is one of the toughest tender documents ever prepared by any state government department. The deal involved: 2.50 crore sarees worth Rs 250 crore. Still tougher is the task, for which a multi-tier system has been developed, to check each of the 2.50 crore sarees, right from manufacturing, for quality control.
At the receiving end are thousands of Government employees, including almost the entire Anganwari staff, who are supposed to open the packets and scan each one of the 2.50 crore sarees, the entire length and breadth of it, for any blemish. A list of Government employees is being prepared for the job, being termed Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dream project promising two sarees each to 1.25 crore women living below the poverty line.
The Women and Child Welfare Department is taking all possible precautions to rule out possibility of any irregularity. It was for this reason it decided not to depend on the specifications prepared for the sarees by director, Handloom, and consulted the Textile Committee (TC) of the Union Ministry of Textile as well as the Textile Technology Institute (TTI) of Kanpur instead. The final specifications were based on the recommendations of the TC and TTI experts.
The financial bid for the deal will be opened by the Department of Women and Child Welfare Department. It is strictly open to only those whose technical bid will be okayed by the director, Industries. The recommendations for the purchase order will be subject to approval by the Cabinet.
To ensure further transparency, every party interested in supplying the sarees would have to file 14 documents, including their last five years’ turnover, along with their tender.
According to official sources, a single supplier/manufacture would be allowed to supply sarees worth Rs 25 crore only, if its last year’s turnover is not less than Rs 20 crore. Going by this yardstick, a company with less than Rs 200-crore annual turnover will not be eligible to supply sarees worth Rs 250 crore.
As per the specifications, the hundred per cent polyester filament saree would have to be a minimum 5.5 metre long. It must weigh 5 grams per square metre. Specifications even for the fabric and the sarees’ border width and colour fastness etc. have also been specified.
The sarees are likely to be distributed in districts from November 20 to November 25 for which another exercise is being undertaken to list 1.25 crore beneficiaries living below the poverty line.
Officials, however, told the Hindustan Times that it would be almost impossible to supply such a huge order with such strict bid conditions and other specifications. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to complete the purchase process within the stipulated time, they said.