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Scam slur on AMTRON over students’ laptops

Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme

Where did the crores of rupees for installation and training vanish, asks APW

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 18: The Assam Public Works today alleged a multi-crore scam in implementation of the Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme by the Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (AMTRON) and demanded a probe into the matter.

Citing RTI revelations, the APW said during the process of handover of the laptops to students, the devices are installed in front of the awardees. Further, training on installation of the operating software is arranged so that students can use the systems at their homes.

“For installation and training part, the AMTRON gets over Rs 1,000 per laptop. However, we have never seen the systems being installed or any training given to students. Where does this amount go?” APW president Aabhijeet Sarma queried.

According to RTI replies, in 2014 the amount fixed for installation and training per device was Rs 1,038 and in 2015, it was Rs 1,140. There were 40,983 awardees in 2014 and 53,148 in 2015.

“This means that in the year 2014-15, an amount of Rs 4.25 crore was sanctioned for the installation and training part. In the following year, the amount was Rs 6.05 crore,” Sarma said.

The APW said AMTRON received Rs 103.14 crore for implementing the scheme in 2014-15 and in the following year, it was given Rs 89.35 crore.

“The AMTRON did not refund any amount during these two years. Where did the installation and training charges go? We haven’t seen any student getting the training,” Sarma said.

The RTI reply states that the “prices for infrastructure support for distribution and training were discovered through open tender/ e-tender.”

Meanwhile, the APW said it will write to the Prime Minister’s office about the Chief Secretary not giving permission to the Special Judge Court to initiate inquiries against officers of scam-tainted Agriculture department. “We had requested the new CM also to ask the Chief Secretary to give permission but nothing has happened so far,” he said.

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Ankur Kalita