Punjab government has asked the vigilance bureau to look into the allegations that the state school education board caused loss worth Rs 6.50 crore to the exchequer in purchase of paper for printing books.
Lawyer HC Arora had written to the chief secretary seeking inquiry into the allegations. The chief secretary has now asked the vigilance bureau for “appropriate action after preliminary verification of relevant records”.
Arora, in his letter, had said the SAS Nagar-based Punjab School Education Board secretary had in December 2015 written to the principal secretary (school education), Chandigarh, demanding latter’s intervention in a huge scandal pertaining to allotment of tenders for purchase of paper for printing books. The letter stated that tenders were deliberately allotted at higher rates by the committee (which comprised chairman as well as vice-chairman of the Board) concerned for purchase of paper, thereby, causing a loss of Rs 6.50 crore.
As per the allegations that the committee concerned had fixed the date for opening the tenders for supply of paper deliberately two days later than the date on which the government-approved rates for supply of paper were to expire.
Thus, paper was purchased from suppliers at the rate of Rs 54,300 per metric tonne, instead of purchasing at the approved rate of Rs 42,355 per metric tonne. Hence, the board suffered a loss of Rs 6.50 crore for purchase of paper during 2013.
Board chairman Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal said: “The high-power committee which has representation from various government departments had purchased the paper through e-tendering process”.