SORRY! The sarees will have to wait and so will the 1.25 crore women who have been promised the nine yards, two sets each.
An unforeseen delay seems to be unfolding for the Rs 250-crore scheme, touted as chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dream project.
The process of purchasing 2.50 crore sarees has suffered a jolt with the chairman of the purchase committee, designated by the Cabinet, refusing to take the responsibility of buying the sarees. As per a Cabinet decision, the Department of Women Welfare was to set up a purchase committee headed by Industries director Devendra Chaudhary.
The job included determining the specifications and inviting financial and technical bids at the national level.
However, Chaudhary refused to become chairman on the plea that the move was in violation of a Government Order (GO) issued in October 1994. The GO, according to the director, says all the purchases will be made by and through the department concerned and as such an officer of the Women Welfare Department, which is looking after the project, should head the committee.
It is noteworthy that the decision to appoint Chaudhary as chairman of the purchase committee was not taken by the depa rtment but by the Cabinet. Now, the Women Welfare Department has no option but to constitute another committee and refer the issue back to the Cabinet for approval.
The issue has been referred to the Department of Finance with a fresh proposal, which will later be put up before the Cabinet. Devendra Chaudhary refused to comment, saying the issue was pending at the government level and he was not authorised to speak about it.