Pankaja Munde given clean chit by Maharastra ACB in chikki scam
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had filed a complaint with the ACB, alleging that Munde’s ministry had, on her orders, flouted rules and favoured certain companies when awarding contracts worth Rs206 crore in February.mumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2016 17:03 IST
The Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has recommended the closure of the chikki scam case against state women and child development minister Pankaja Munde for alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for materials worth Rs206 crore for school children
ACB sources confirmed they have sent the closure report to the state government.
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had filed a complaint with the ACB, alleging that Munde’s ministry had, on her orders, flouted rules and favoured certain companies when awarding contracts worth Rs206 crore in February.
The complaint further read that dubious contracts awarded through 24 government resolutions (GR) were for the purchase of food items and other materials, ostensibly for children in rural and tribal areas. Munde had denied allegations, saying they were part of a conspiracy to malign her image.
Among these was a contract to supply chikki, which was awarded allegedly without due process to one Suryakanta Mahila Audyogik Sanstha (SMAS) for a whopping Rs113 crore. The contract quotes a price of Rs285 per kg of chikki, even though other groups had allegedly quoted Rs127 per kg.
Significantly, the department responsible for awarding contracts had opposed the contract to SMAS in April 2013. Radhika Rastogi, then industries development commissioner, had categorically said the contract should be awarded only by inviting tenders.
Two other GRs among the 24 were for the purchase of the same items — electronic physio-growth monitors (EPGM), which are used to track the health of malnourished children. Two contractors, Sai Hightech Products and Nitiraj Engineers, both from north Maharashtra, were awarded the contract for Rs6 crore and Rs18 crore.