The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Sindh Assembly has demanded an inquiry into a Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) report which alleged that the provincial government had bought dual desks at exorbitant rates causing billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.
Opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh bought a desk from the furniture market in Liaquatabad, brought it to the assembly building and addressed a press conference sitting on it.
He said that he had asked the Sindh government questions in the assembly but had so far received no answers.
Sheikh said he bought the desk for Rs5,000 which the provincial authorities purchased for Rs29,500.
“The Sindh government has purchased 160,000 desks for public schools for Rs6 billion and misappropriated Rs3bn,” he alleged.
Sheikh lashed out at former Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, saying that he was responsible for the misappropriation.
The PTI had written a letter to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah informing him that the education department was allegedly purchasing dual desks for public schools at 320 percent higher rate, he said, adding that the chief minister was urged to take action against the officers of the department concerned and the contractors for causing billions of rupees loss to the exchequer.
Sheikh also requested the Supreme Court and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate the matter.
He said the Sindh government had decided to shut down 10,000 ghost schools across the province. He asked the chief minister and education minister to find out who created these ghost schools.
He called the Sindh government an enemy of quality education that is why it opposed to the implementation of the Single National Curriculum in the province.
THE REPORT: The Transparency International Pakistan wrote a letter to the chief minister with the complaint that the education department was allegedly purchasing dual desks for public schools at 320 percent higher rate, causing a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.
In its letter, the TIP said the Sindh School Education and Literacy Department (SELD) had awarded four contracts on June 10 for the “supply of dual desks in public sector schools of Sindh” worth Rs5 billion at rates that varied between Rs23,985 per desk and Rs29,500 per desk, inclusive of all taxes.
The TIP disclosed that the previous tenders for the same procurement of the dual desk furniture were invited by the SELD, Government of Sindh, two years ago, precisely on February 17, 2019, for a smaller quantity.
“The lowest evaluated tender prices received from responsive bidders for these tenders varied between Rs5,700 and Rs6,860 per desk, inclusive of all taxes. However, the School Education and Literacy Department did not award the contracts.”