PMC bid-rigging scam: Opposition demands blacklisting of 6 accused companies
After the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed a fine of Rs 3.57 crore on six firms for colluding with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials in a bid-rigging scam, opposition parties have demanded authorities to blacklist the companies.
Leaders from opposition parties in the PMC have unanimously appealed civic authorities to blacklist all the six companies accused in the bid-rigging scam.
Chetan Tupe, opposition leader in PMC, said, “We have written a letter to the Pune municipal commissioner demanding him to immediately blacklist all the contractors involved in the bid-rigging scam. This has exposed the corruption in PMC under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled establishment.”
He further added, “Not only should the companies be blacklisted, but PMC should terminate all their existing contracts with these companies and refrain from awarding them with any work in the future.”
Arvind Shinde, Congress leader, said, “Civic authorities must act tough on all those accused in the bid-rigging scam. Also, they should be quick in implemeting displinary action.”
Responding to the demands of opposition leaders, Yogesh Mulik, standing committee chairman, PMC, said, “We will be conducting an internal inquiry on the officials named in CCI’s final order. Post the inquiry, if the officials are proven guilty and the nexus between them and the six contractors is established, we will blacklist all the contractors involved in the scam.”
The nexus between PMC officials and contractors for rigging the bids was exposed in detail by Hindustan Times in a series of reports in October 2017.
The CCI conducted an enquiry on the basis of a complaint from Nagrik Chetna Manch, an NGO of alert citizen-activists.
Mulik added, “Corruption won’t be tolerated at any cost. However, our actions will be entirely based on the final report of our internal inquiry.”
We might consider terminating all the contracts with these six companies if the charges against them are proven, added Mulik.
The tenders pertained to seven thermal composting plants at various locations including Kharadi, Ghole Patil road and Peshwe Park, and were worth Rs 14 crore.
In the final order of CCI, the Commission observed that various individuals, including proprietor, partner and director of the firms coordinated to “rig the tenders by way of submitting proxy/cover bids”.
The CCI, established under the ministry of corporate affairs for the administration, implementation and enforcement of the Competition Act, 2002, has directed all the parties to deposit the penalty amount within 60 days from the receipt of the order.
1) Mahalaxmi Steels: 1,68,10,166.
2) Sanjay Agencies: 90,63,874
3) Ecoman Environ Solutions Pvt Ltd.: 33,90,500
4) Lahs Green india Pvt Ltd.: 21,00,258
5) Raghunath industries Pvt ltd.: 30,54,943
6) Fortified Security Solutions: 1,30,72,40
Apart from these firms, the commission has also imposed penalty of Rs 3,61,368 on five individuals holding key positions in the six companies:
Penalty imposed on individuals:
1) Sanjay Harakchand Gugle: 1,38,570
2) Bipin Vijay Salunkhe: 72,500
3) Vijay Raghunath Salunke: 97,480
4) Piramal Salunkhe: 34,605
5) Saiprasad Sharaschandra Prabhukhanolkar: 18,213