After Pankaja Munde, another Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde faces scam allegations
New Delhi: A few days after Pankaja Munde was accused of corruption in awarding contracts worth Rs 206 crore, another Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde is facing allegations of irregularities in awarding contract.
As reported by Indian Express, state's education minister Vinod Tawde awarded contracts worth Rs 191 crore without e-tendering in School Education Department.
The finance department has sought a detailed probe into allegations and the contract has been put on hold.
The case pertains to the supply of fire extinguishers to 62,105 zilla parishad schools in Maharashtra.
Tawde's department issued a government resolution on February 11, 2015 authorising the office of the Education Director (Primary) to enter into a rate contract to supply the fire extinguishers.
Each fire extinguisher was to be procured for Rs 8,321 and each school was to be provided three extinguishers.
“Official communications show that the orders were issued following Tawde's directives dated January 6,” the finance department stated in an official note.
Tawde confirmed that he had given the directive but said that the file was first moved in the erstwhile Congress-NCP regime. “The then Education Minister (Rajendra Darda) had originally noted in the proposal's favour,” he said.
Following the government's orders, Mahavir Mane, Education Director (Primary), awarded the rate contract to Thane-based Reliable Fire Engineers on February 27 without taking finance department's approval.
The education department stayed its earlier order on March 4 after senior officials in the finance department objected and pointed to alleged irregularities in the contract. By then, the contractor had already raised a bill of Rs 6.20 crore for the supply of 6,047 extinguishers. This, it noted, was raised in a single day on March 2.
Senior officials in the education department confirmed that further supplies had been halted after the finance department raised objections.
Contracts worth Rs 191 crore were allotted although it had just Rs 19 crore in budgeted funds for the purchase of “miscellaneous items” for zilla parishad schools, noted finance department.
The dealer which was allotted the work was not on the government's rate contract list either.
Tawde said he himself plans to order a probe into the matter.
Tawde, is at the sentre of another controversy and has been accused of possessing a ‘bogus degree'. Tawde had secured a BE (Electronics) from Pune's Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth in 1984 which was not recognized by the government.