Shettar suspects scam in uniform procurement

Shettar suspects scam in uniform procurement

Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar. DH file photo

Suspecting irregularities in Department of Public Instruction's move to call tenders to procure school uniforms, MLA Jagadish Shettar charged that tender guidelines were framed to help big textile companies and thereby disempower the school development and monitoring committees (SDMCs) in procuring uniforms.

"As the guidelines of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have been violated by not involving SDMCs, I will bring the issue to the notice of the Union Government, by writing a letter to the HRD minister," Shettar told reporters here on Saturday..

In the last four years, uniforms were distributed through SDMCs, which created jobs at the local level, and it was convenient for children also. In March, the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government took a decision to change this system. The Department of Public Instruction, on June 7, invited tender to supply stitched uniforms for first to eighth standard students, (10.77 lakh sets worth Rs 96.31 crore), the BJP leader said.

Cost of uniform for each students is increased from Rs 200 to Rs 250. Only those who have composite mill, and with annual turnover of Rs 14.6 crore to Rs 32.05 crore (division-wise) in last three years can participate in the tender. Such conditions are put to help big players like Mafatlal and Sangam India. It looks like the officials are dealing it, and if Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy maintains silence on this issue, it can be construed that he is also involved in this, Shettar said.

This tender should be cancelled, and SDMCs should be empowered to purchase uniforms, strictly implementing the rules, to prevent any irregularity. Also, if need be, Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation or Khadi Gramodyoga institutes should be asked to supply uniforms, with timely order and payment, he added.