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Scent of scam in computer procurement



GUWAHATI, Feb 10: In the me of procurement of computers under the Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme, a possibility of large-scale anomalies taken place during the previous Congress regime has emerged. The issue has come to light recently following statements made by present Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and former education minister Sarat Borkotoki, specifically on the price of computers procured under the Scheme. 

At the Anundoram Borooah Award distribution function held few days ago, Sarma stated that large-scale anomalies were taken place in procuring computers at inflated rates during the erstwhile Congress regime in the State. “This time, we procured laptops for distribution among students under the Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme at Rs 13,500 per piece. But in 2015, computers were procured by the erstwhile government at Rs 19,950 per piece.”

Reacting to Sarma’s statement, former education minister Borkotoki on Friday said, “It’s true that the previous government procured computers at Rs 19,950 per piece in 2015. Computers, which were procured in 2013, were purchased at Rs 25,000 per piece, which is even higher than the price of computers procured in 2015. But computers procured in 2013 at higher price had improved specifications than computers procured in 2015.”

When Borkotoki was asked about the me of the then education minister, he refused to comment. “I can’t take me. The present Education Minister also hasn’t taken anybody’s me while commenting on the issue,” he added.

The erstwhile Congress government had introduced Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme in 2005 under which computers were given to those who scored 60 per cent and above in the HSLC exam. Last year, tabs were distributed among second division holders under the Scheme.

It may also be mentioned that the computers meant for the Anundoram Borooah Award Scheme are supplied by AMTRON.