Ma­ha­rash­tra min­is­ter Munde em­broiled in Rs.2 bn scam

Asian Journal - - Asia -

Mum­bai: Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Women and Child De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pankaja Munde was em­broiled in a con­tro­versy in­volv­ing al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in award­ing con­tracts worth Rs.206 crore (Rs.2.06 bil­lion) with the Congress de­mand­ing a CBI probe in the mat­ter. The min­is­ter -- daugh­ter of union min­is­ter Gopinath Munde who died in a road ac­ci­dent in New Delhi last year -- is ac­cused of dol­ing out the multi-crore-rupee con­tracts through mul­ti­ple Gov­ern­ment Res­o­lu­tions (GRs) on a sin­gle day (Fe­bru­ary 13) in­stead of adopt­ing the e-ten­der­ing or ten­der route. Among the al­le­ga­tions against Munde are ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in award­ing con­tracts for work­books for stu­dents, wa­ter fil­ters, growth mon­i­tor­ing ma­chines for mal­nour­ished kids, medicines and ‘chikkis’ (sweets cook­ies with nuts and dry fruits in a jag­gery base). Presently in the US, Munde rub­bished all al­le­ga­tions in an email state­ment and claimed that some of her dy­namic de­ci­sions as min­is­ter to re­duce cor­rup­tion have up­set some “money-minded bunch of peo­ple”. is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal said af­ter the bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion. In its maiden full bud­get, tabled by state Fi­nance Min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia, the Aam Aadmi Party gov­ern­ment al­lo­cated Rs.9,836 crore to ed­u­ca­tion -- more than dou­ble the amount ear­marked dur­ing the pre­vi­ous fis­cal. While 50 schools will be de­vel­oped as model schools, 236 new schools have been planned, Siso­dia said. The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor was fol­lowed by the health sec­tor with the Ke­jri­wal gov­ern­ment ear­mark­ing Rs.4,787 crore for it -- 45 per­cent more than the pre­vi­ous year’s al­lo­ca­tion. The gov­ern­ment plans to re­model and up­grade 11 ex­ist­ing hos­pi­tals, which will add 4,000 more beds in the next two years.

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