Self-help groups claimed that tender conditions were designed to favour large companies and established cartels of contractors
The court order comes as a setback for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has tried to build the image of a corruption-free administration.
Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court on Monday struck down Maharashtra government tenders worth Rs.12,000 crore issued earlier this year for purchase and supply of Take Home Ration (THR), after self-help groups (SHGs) complained of irregularities.
Take home ration is food grain or raw nutritional stuff that is given to anganwadi children for them to carry home and get cooked.
The state women and child development ministry led by Pankaja Munde had issued the tenders in February meant for the state’s 100,00-plus anganwadis (day care centres).
The SHGs claimed that tender conditions were designed to favour large companies and established cartels of contractors, when the Supreme Court guidelines clearly asked state governments to make sure such contracts were awarded through a proper process to SHGs so that women get employment and locally preferred nutritional THR items are supplied.
The move comes as a setback for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has tried to build the image of a corruption-free administration, but was forced to expel his senior most party colleague Eknath Khadse from the cabinet last month over allegations of land grab. It is also a setback for Munde, who lost key ministries last week.
Munde, who is in Singapore to attend a global water leaders conference, was not available for comments. An official at the department of women and child development, who did not wish to be named, said the department would react only after studying the judgement.
Fadnavis is on a visit to Russia as part of a government delegation led by Union minister of state for commerce Nirmala Sitharaman.
Last week, Fadnavis took away two major portfolios from Munde—water conservation and employment guarantee scheme—in a cabinet expansion and reshuffle. Munde managed to retain the women and child development and rural development portfolios.
In June 2015, Munde was in the centre of another controversy after her ministry issued work orders based on a rate card system for Rs.206 crore purchase and supply of nutritional food in anganwadis. The opposition Congress-NCP accused her of flouting norms and not issuing e-tenders despite chief minister’s instructions. At that time, Fadnavis had defended Munde.http://www.livemint.com/Politics/PyEjoZR4WOrmc3bVm4XndI/HC-strikes-down-Rs12000-crore-tenders-issued-by-Pankaja-Mund.html