In view of allegations that sub-standard 'chikki' was supplied to government schools in Maharashtra, the state today told the Bombay High Court that a new policy has been formed which sets out procedures to be followed before purchasing such items.
Advocate General Shrihari Aney informed a division bench of justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere that a government resolution dated October 30 has been issued setting up a policy 'Manual of Office Procedure for Purchase of Stores by Government Department'.
"Under the policy several categories have been formed setting out procedures that will have to be followed by the state departments before purchasing any items. Financial constraints have been set so as to reduce any allegation of corruption," Aney said.
As per the policy, the process of e-tendering has been made compulsory for any and every purchase.
"If the purchase is between Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 per annum then e-tenders will have to be issued. If the purchase is between Rs three lakh to Rs one crore then quotations will have to be called before issuing tenders," Aney said. He added that before any purchase is made prior approval of the state government is a must.
"Proposals for any purchase will have to be submitted before February 15 every year and the same will have be sanctioned by the government before March 15. No sanctions will be given after March 15," the advocate general said.
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Sandeep Ahire and others seeking an inquiry by a retired High Court judge into the alleged Rs 206 crore 'chikki scam', for which Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde had come under fire.
The court on Tuesaday sought to know if any inquiry was set up by the government in the alleged 'chikki scam' to which Aney said no inquiry as such was ordered but the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration had conducted checks on the quality of the 'chikki' and found it to be fine.
The court has now posted the petition for hearing on December 10.