Left red-faced by the report to the Supreme Court on wrong-doings in supply of rations under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the Maharashtra government is scrambling to save the situation. Minister for women and child welfare Varsha Gaikwad on Sunday maintained that the state had awarded tenders based on the Central government’s guidelines of 2009.
Gaikwad will meet chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday to decide what to do about the contracts for distributing nutritious food to mothers and children.
Gaikwad told HT: “We have not officially received the [SC] report yet, but we will take action as per the directions of the Supreme Court’s final hearing.”
The state government could consider winding up the contracts, but they were to end soon as they were for three years from July 2010, Gaikwad said. “We will consider the SC norms when we re-tender now,” she added.
According to the report filed by the office of the commissioners to the Supreme Court on Friday, six private contractors in Maharashtra have siphoned off funds through the ICDS by floating front woman organisations controlled by their family members.
HT has also found that many of these contractors seem to be politically influential.
Swapnil Agro owner Satish Munde is known to be close to senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who has denied any dealings with him.
Indo-Allied Protein Foods is owned by Rajan Shankar Jadhav and Vivek Shankar Jadhav, the latter is well known in the state’s corridors of power with connections across political parties and is also a director in a well-known construction firm in Mumbai.