Education department prepares investigation report
The Sindh government has revoked its decision to purchase scrap wood desks worth Rs29,000 a piece for schools across the province after SAMAA TV exposed inflated prices.
Earlier this month, an exclusive SAMAA TV report revealed that the provincial government had awarded the tender for buying 1.5 million desks to a ‘favoured’ company during the tenure of previous education minister, Saeed Ghani.
When the news started circulating, PTI leader Haleem Adil Sheikh took up the responsibility of 'helping' the Sindh government. He visited the furniture market in Karachi's Liaquatabad to survey rates of school desks.
The next day, he showed up at the Sindh Assembly with one desk. "The school desk that the Sindh government was buying for Rs29,500 was bought [by me] for Rs5,000,” Sheikh claimed.
The Sindh government has purchased 160,000 desks for public schools for Rs6 billion at exorbitantly higher prices than the market rate, he said. The corruption is worth Rs3 billion, the PTI leader added.
Consequently, Sindh Education Minister Sardar Shah formed an investigation committee. It reviewed the procurement and costs of school desks bought by the government and submitted recommendations on Saturday.
The education department then decided to cancel the tender for desks issued for the financial years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
"The desks should be procured at the divisional level under the rules of the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority," the report stated.
"A new tender will be issued and the entire process should be monitored at the provincial level," it added.