The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) cancelled a tender worth Rs 566 crore after Arappor Iyakkam alleged that the bidding criteria for the tender was in favour of a specific company or a cartel. The tender was floated for the supply of dal to the government for various purposes and the cancellation was ordered after the anti-corruption NGO highlighted that one kilogram of dal costs way less in the open market than what was awarded as the contracted price as per the awarded tender.
According to reports, the tender was awarded to a company that agreed to supply toor dal to the state government at Rs 143. 5 per kilogram. However, in a letter to the top officials of the state government including the Chief Minister, Arappor Iyakkam attached a bill from a retail shop, which stated that one kilogram of toor dal costs Rs 100. The NGO further said that even at the state-run Amudham stores, one kilogram of toor dal costs Rs 106 and the higher price of Rs 143.5 per kg of the dal will cost an extra 80 to 100 crore rupees to the state to procure around 2,000 tonnes of dal. The state government took note of the arguments and ordered the cancellation of the awarded tender and floated a new tender for the same on Thursday.
Similarly, the state government also modified the conditions of two other tenders that were floated to supply 80 lakh palm oil packets and 2.11 crore COVID-19 grocery kits. The NGO had sought modifications in these two tenders in an attempt to open up more participation from various parties which might help the government get the best deal. Arappor Iyakkam had suggested that the minimum supply quantity for these two tenders be pegged at 20% per bidder and that the condition about them having previous experience of supplying to government bodies be scrapped. The NGO, in turn, suggested that the tender condition be modified to accommodate parties that had previous experience in supplying to private parties as well. The TNCSC reportedly has accepted these two suggestions and thus modified the tender conditions.