GUWAHATI, Dec 1: Reports of irregularities and discrepancies in the tender process of the Social
Welfare Department in Manipur have raised concerns, prompting calls for a thorough investigation
by central investigating agencies. The alleged irregularities involve a substantial amount of money
and pertain to the appointment of transporters for the transportation of rice and micronutrients.
According to reliable sources, the High Power Tender Committee of the Social Welfare Department
has been accused of not rectifying irregularities in the tender process despite interventions by the
High Court of Manipur in 2020 and 2021. The issues include discrepancies in the floating of tenders
for the appointment of transporters, particularly for the transportation of rice from state godowns
and micronutrients from the department godown located at Takyelpat.
The Supreme Court had also intervened in separate judgments, directing the department to allow
transporter firms to lift and transport rice and micronutrients at specified rates as an interim
arrangement. The court further instructed the department to initiate a fresh tender with new terms
and conditions within 45 days.
In compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive, the Social Welfare Department issued a Notice
Inviting Tender (NIT) on September 2, 2022. However, concerns have been raised regarding the
evaluation process, with allegations that certain qualified firms did not deposit the total tender fees
as required by the tender guidelines.
The Tender Evaluation Committee is accused of favoring specific entities and not conducting the
tender process in a free and fair manner. There are claims of violations of the High Powered Tender
Committee’s proceedings from December 16, 2017, and allegations of arbitrary appointments that
have reportedly caused a significant financial loss to the state exchequer.
Given the magnitude of the alleged irregularities, concerned sources advocate for a comprehensive
investigation by reputable central investigating agencies to prevent such issues in the future. The
investigation is deemed necessary to ensure the proper implementation of projects and programs,
especially those targeting the welfare of vulnerable sections of society, including women and
children in the state.