The Congress here on Wednesday alleged a Rs 150 crore e-tablet procurement scam by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat. The government paid Rs 5,000 extra over the market price of these tablets, the opposition alleged.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, however, refuted the allegations terming them baseless.
Levelling the charge, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said the government had procured 300,000 e-tablets from Lenovo. As the government paid Rs 5,000 extra for each e-tablet, it caused a loss of Rs 150 crore to the public exchequer, he alleged.
"The tablets are available for Rs 1,400 a piece at the Alibaba.com website," Dhanani said.
Dhanani raised the issue during the question hour of the Gujarat Assembly's budget session, which commenced on Tuesday. Anandbhai Chaudhari, Congress MLA from Mandvi, had asked how much money students were asked to pay for each e-tablet and what was the cost of the device.
Replying to the question, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the tablets were procured from Lenovo India for Rs 6,667 each, including the goods and services tax and transportation.
The government was providing these tablets to students at a subsidised rate of Rs 1,000 and some students were yet to receive these tablets, he added.
During the discussion, the Chief Minister refuted the charges and said the procurement was done through a global e-tendering.
The Education Minister said the allegations had been levelled without proper homework. The price quoted by Dhanani was just for the touch screen of the device and the actual market price was Rs 7,128 a piece.
The tablets were equipped with 4G technology, dual SIM, voice calling, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, 5 megapixel back and 2 mega pixel front camera with Android 7 OS, he added.
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