Transparency International has raised its concerns over Pakistan’s decision for purchasing 400,000 tablets at the rate of Rs. 51,640 per tablet in second phase of Prime Minister’s laptop scheme that will span over four years.
Rs. 21.33 billion out of tax-payers’ money is allocated for the project that will allow government to give away 100,000 tablets to students each year for four consecutive years.
Transparency International, in a letter written to Prime Minister of Pakistan, said that the price approved by ECC for a similar specs tablet is way higher than the usual market.
TIP said that the amount of tablets that are being ordered should only reduce the price further.
As reported by Express Tribune, the Transparency International has said that the specifications of the ECC requires Window tablet that is rack priced of $179 at Walmart can be imported in Pakistan at cost less than Rs. 10,000 from the manufacturer and in case the quantity is 500,000 it is certain that the tablet can be imported at less than Rs 7,000 each.
Transparency International Pakistan is also concerned about procuring 400,000 tablets in a single go while the delivery is likely to span over 4 years, i.e. 100,000 tablets for each year. TIP said:
We do not agree with the ECC decision to award the contract with variable specification for four years, without knowing the specifications for the second, third and fourth year.
This approach, according to the TIP, is a serious violation of Public Procurement Rules (PPR) 2004, which requires exact specification to be provided to bidder.
Procurement of 400,000 tablets is going to be managed by HEC and tenders are already with the the commission that will open next week.