Monday, July 27, 2015

Chikki that nourished malpractices in Maharashtra Mantralay – Maharashtra Chikki Scam Part 2

In February 2013 Pankaja Munde awarded 76 crore chikki contract to Suryakanta Mahilaa Audyogik SahkariSanstha  SMASS  . Earlier in 2013 also SMASS had bagged 38 crore chikki contract in Congress - NCP run government, obviously without tender , competitive bids and despite of clear objections from  commissioner , Adivasi welfare . Afterwards order was  stayed and  High level inquiry was  in this case. On account of objections raised by then BJP member’s .Interestingly Not ruling party nor opposition followed the case.

Then BJP came in to the power and Pankaja Munde awarded exactly double amount i.e 76 crore chikki contract similar way and same contractor, Despite Supreme court order and High Court directives, Clear opinion of then commissioner (industries)  and decision of a committee headed by Chief secretary on  27 June 2013  ( Anne -8) to not to purchase Items on Rate Fixation and

 off course without tender or competitive bids .Wasn’t that interesting ?

Actually as per supreme court and Central government directives the food to be provided should be fresh,  hot and local. Accordingly government of Maharashtra on 6 July 2009 appointed a committee to decide rates, quantity of recipe of food that was to be provided anganwadis as Take Home Ration (THR) and to eat at anganwadi itself (Anne - 10) . Accordingly  a GR was issued on 24 august 2009  directing quantity and recipe of food that was to be provided to anganawadi children.

In This GR there was no mention of any type of Chikki or ayurvedic biscuits. (Anne -11).Ground nut laddu was there in that list. Then how come chikki was introduced in anganwadi children supplimentary nutrition food?. Story is interesting  on  2nd June  2011 then government decided that instead of sweet ground nut laddus chikki will be provided to children and pregnant ladies anganwadi in rural and urban areas. ( Anne - 12) .Which dietitian or doctor recommended it? Was impact of eating chikki on malnourished children studied ?.There is no answer to that. However interesting part of the story is there no chikki item in SMASS’s product list and it has never introduced chikki in open market. What does that mean ?

However the rate given as per tender for ground nut laddu  was Rs. 1.27 for 10 gram i.e. Rs 12.70  for 100 grams and it was kept the same for chikki in June 2011.

In February 2012 government suddenly reserved several items like mango pulp, pickles,  amala-  kokam  sharbat including  Chikki to be purchased  from Suryakanta Mahilaa Audyogik Sahkari Sanstha  SMASS  only. (Anne - 13).Don’t ask why this privilege was given to SMASS . Now how and why some items were reserved to be purchased from SMASS  is matter of investigation. What were its credentials?. . But when organization
belongs to political person then nothing is impossible.

In august 2012 rates for chikki’s  to be purchased were fixed  and they almost almost double the rate in 2011.  ( Anne - 14). Rates decided for SMASS  were applicable to 30 June 2013 only.

On 29 April 2013  work orders of supply of chikki was issued to SMASS, obviously without tender , competitive bids and despite of clear objections from  commissioner , Adivasi welfare . (Anne -15, Page 1) .  Even then Purchase orders were issued. Afterwards orders were stayed on 14 June 2013. On objections raised by then MLC on 16th July 2013 and Minister had assured High level inquiry in this case. ( Anne – 15, page 7) .

On 3 june 2013 Radika rastogi then Development commissioner (Industries) had clearly opined “The CSPO has not done any Rate contract for chikki. There is only Rate fixation. In case of rate fixation it is not done competitively as in an RC ( I.e by way of open tenders).it only means that rate are reasonable, it does not mean that rates are competitive. Rate fixation is only meant for small orders & reservation is given for the certain items produced by women’s groups, societies, organizations of ex servicemen, blind/handicapped persons etc. In the present case, where purchase is to the tune of 37 crores, it is advised that purchase based on rate fixation would not be appropriate. Open tender procedure need to be followed wherein the specification and & standard are clearly spelt out. “( Anne – 15, page 6)

Accordingly One man High level committee of P.S Meena  was appointed to inquire in to the matter on 20 November 2013 . But as the matter was High profile committee didn’t find time to enquire into it.(Anne -16 )  Hence again extension was given to committee till May 2014.( Anne - 17 )  But what happened to committee report no one knows.

Interestingly inquiry committee on chikki was appointed on complaints of BJP members,   none of them followed it. Even after they came in to the power in October 2014 they didn’t do anything. Moreover one of their colleagues Pankaja Munde awarded contract to SMASS. What does that mean? .Allegations were baseless or contractor was powerful enough to silence everybody?

Despite Supreme court and High Court  directives, Clear opinion of then commissioner industries  and decision of a committee headed by Chief secretary on  27 June 2013  ( Anne -8) to not to purchase Items on Rate Fixation .The extension was given to rates fixed  for SMASS on 1 September 2014 (Anne -18)

On  12 February 2015 pankaja munde had a meeting with principal secretary (WCD) and as per her orders and Principal secretaries guidelines, all previous proposals were rejected and fresh proposal were submitted . And accordingly three work orders were issued First one was for 6 month to 3 year old and amount was 23 , 85, 65,763/- (Anne - 19)

Interestingly in this order word ( amaranth)  rajgira laddu/ chikki were there but afterwards only word chikki was mentioned in work order awarded. And accordingly only chikki was provided . There is difference between preparation of laddu and chikki . There was no mention of any rajgira Item in recipe GRs

Through second GR  she ordered purchase of micronutrient chikki/ laddu  but actually chikki was provided . Interestingly  rates of groundnut chikki and and micronutrient chikki were different. Ground chikki / laddu rate 210 / kg while  micronutrient chikki was 285/kg.This procurement was of 79, 81.42,671/- for for children of 3 to 6 year and pregnant and lactating women. (Anne -20 )

Through third GR she proposed to purchase of coconut chikki of 10,41, 55,260 for children of 3 to 6 years  (Anne - 21)

This all purchase was for for year 2014- fifteen i.e. for only thirty days following chikki items were
Rajagira chikki 6 months to 3 years children
                         quantity  1109608 kg rate Rs 215/ kg     = 238565720
Micronutrient   3 to 6 yrs  1909513 kg Rate 285/kg        = 544211205

‘’                     women          890987   rate 285 /kg          = 253931437
Coconut chikki  3 to 6 yrs    520776 Rate 200/kg         =  104155260

Total chikki kg 4430884 (forty four lakh thirty thousand eight hundred eighty four kg)

Rupees 1140863622  ( one hundred fourteen crore eight lakh sixty three thousand six hundred twenty two Rupees) amount actually sanctioned earlier was next day revised to  75 five crores ( Anne – 23 A) and also items  micronutrient chikki for women and coconut chikki for 3 to 6 years children were cancelled. Don’t ask Why nutrition was denied to pregnant and lactating women and children of of 3 to 6 years group. Reason was obvious some more contractors who were sniffing in Mantralay corridors had also got clue of funds allocated to WCD. They also needed to be nourished. And only contractors do have approach in Mantralay and not the  malnourished children and women.

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