EOW swings into action against IAS officer of MP cadre
The Economic Offences Wing in Madhya Pradesh has registered a preliminary enquiry against Vivek Agrawal, former Principal Secretary in the Urban Development Department in Madhya Pradesh.
EOW director general Sushoban Banerjee said a complaint has been received against Agrawal and some officials of Smart City Development Corporation Limited (SCDCL) and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) for allegedly manipulating norms to hand tender worth Rs 300 crore to Hewlett-Packard and PwC in which his son Vaibhav Agarwal was the senior associate even though the BSNL had pitched a lower bid of Rs 275 crore.
SCDCL Bhopal had floated a tender to set up the Master System Integrated for providing a cloud based common data centre and disaster management in April 2017. The PwC was the project consultant. In the tender process BSNL, HECL, HP, Tech M, Wipro, UST Global and LNT participated.
Ethically the PwC should have withdrawn from the project consultancy, but they remained in business. While the HP was strong in hardware supplies it lacked the required experience in providing software.
Banerjee said marks were set during the selection for technical and financial sections, and the HP obtained maximum marks: 175 out of 200 marks, defeating the other companies. Banerjee said HP was strong in hardware not in software and the company had no experience. The manipulations were alleged to have been made at this level.
PwC and HPE are reported to have agreed to complete the tender together. But 6 days after the tender, Vaibhav Agrawal ditched PwC while he was based in Kolkata. Banerjee said details have been sought from the department and a FIR will be registered after the verification.
A 1994 batch IAS officer of MP cadre, Agrawal is known for his proximity to former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He moved to the Union ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare as chief executive officer of the PM-Kisan scheme in February this year. Agrawal was also in charge of Swachh Bharat mission, where he was responsible for turning Indore into India's cleanest city.
The lawyer-turned-bureaucrat had handled agriculture for 10 years as principal secretary to Chauhan.IANS