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Sindh Govt Exposed for Purchasing School Desks at 320% Higher Rates

The Sindh Education and Literacy Department (SELD) is buying dual desks for public schools at a 320% higher rate, causing a loss of billions of rupees to the exchequer, Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) revealed on Monday.

In a letter to Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, the TIP maintained that he SELD on June 10, 2021, awarded four contracts worth Rs. 5 billion for the supply of dual desks in public sector schools across the province, with rates varying between Rs. 23, 985 per desk to Rs. 29,500 per desk, including taxes.

“The lowest evaluated tender prices received from responsive bidders for these tenders varied between Rs 5,700 to Rs 6,860 per desk, inclusive of all taxes. However, the School Education & Literacy Department for unknown reasons did not award the contracts,” the letter said.

Transparency International maintained that the current tenders have been awarded at 320% higher prices, causing a loss of about Rs. 3.3 billion to the public kitty.

“The education department prepared highly inflated engineering estimates of Rs. 24,500 per desk, as their market price. The same desks were offered in open bidding in 2019 at a maximum price of Rs 6,860 per desk,” it added.

The global corruption watchdog has requested CM Murad to investigate these allegations and take necessary action against officials involved.

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