Congress corners BJP govt on purchase of 4G tablets

Congress corners BJP govt on purchase of 4G tablets, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani assures probe

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

The Congress on Thursday cornered the ruling BJP in the Gujarat Assembly over the purchase of 4G calling tablets, alleging the government has paid inflated price for the device.

The opposition party claimed the BJP government has paid Rs 162 crore more than the actual price to the vendor as the tablet is available at much cheaper rate than the amount paid by the administration after tendering process.

Following the allegations of over-payment, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani assured a probe into the matter.

The issue came to the fore during Question Hour when Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, responding to a question, informed the House that the government is purchasing 4G calling tablets from Lenovo India Pvt Ltd at Rs 6,667 per piece.

These tablets are to be given to around three lakh first-year college students under a state government scheme launched three years back.

Each beneficiary student is required to pay a token sum of Rs 1,000 for a tablet.

Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani of the Congress claimed the same tablet, having 4G calling facility and seven-inch screen, is available for Rs 1,400 a unit on global e-commerce platform Alibaba.com.

The Congress leader alleged the government is giving a tablet worth just over Rs 1,000 to students by collecting Rs 1,000 from them.

"If you want I will provide you the link of that website. If this tablet is available for Rs 1,400, you are paying around Rs 5,200 more on each unit.

"Since you are supposed to buy three lakh such units, it appears that you have paid Rs 162 crore more to Lenovo. We need answers about it," said Dhanani.

While a defiant Chudasama refuted Dhanani's claim, saying specifications might be different and it is not possible that the same unit is being sold at such a low price, Rupani stepped in and assured a probe.

"This tablet which we are giving has dual SIMs, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. We can never give a Rs 1,400 tablet to students after collecting Rs 1,000 from them. I think there is some misunderstanding.

"We will definitely conduct a probe into it," Rupani assured the House.

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