(Balwinder Singh Bhundur demands immediate dismissal of Balbir Sidhu and action against officials responsible for award of the contract to fraudulent firm Grandway)
Chandigarh, June 10 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to tell Punjabis why he was not ordering a CBI inquiry into the Fateh kit scam even after it had been proved that the company, which had supplied the kits at severely inflated prices to the Punjab government after repeated re-tendering, was found to be running from a cold store.
In a statement here, senior leader and party mp Balwinder Singh Bhundur said “ recent disclosures about Grandway Incorporation, which supplied kits worth Rs 26 crore to the Punjab government, indicate that the entire operation was fraudulent. “This is the only reason why the original tender which had been awarded to a company with a six month validity at Rs 837 per kit was re-tendered twice and awarded both times to Grandway at inflated prices of Rs 1226 and Rs 1338 per kit. Only a free and fair inquiry can nail those responsible for this scam as it is apparent that Grandway is a proxy which has been used to earn ill gotten wealth at the cost of the exchequer”.
Mr Balwinder Bhundur said media reports today had exposed not only Grandway but the entire tendering process of the Congress government. He said it had been conclusively found that Grandway was running from a cold store in Ludhiana and dealt in the sale of clothes. “Moreover the company does not have a valid license to supply medical kits”.
The Rajya Sabha mp said “it is obvious that these facts were in the knowledge of the government before award of tender to the company. The very fact that they were overlooked is reason enough for the immediate dismissal of Health minister Balbir Sidhu as well as action against all the officers and staff who were responsible for award of the contract to the company”. Mr Bhundur said besides the minister and staff of the Health department it should also be verified whether the kickbacks from the scam were given to other higher-ups also.
Speaking about the Fateh kit contract, Mr Bhundur said it was riddled with irregularities. He said the tender was originally won by Sangam company at a price of Rs 837 per kit but while allotting the same the price was jacked up to Rs 940 per kit in April. He said subsequently two more tenders were issued for the same kits in May and were awarded to Grandway at Rs 1226 and Rs 1338 per kit respectively. He said there could be no justification for awarding a contract for supply of medicines to Covid patients by a company which did not even have a valid license except for extraneous reasons. “These reasons can only be revealed once the case is handed over to the CBI. If the Punjab government refuses to do so the SAD will intensify its agitation against this corrupt act and ensure justice is done in the case”, Mr Bhundur added.