Srinagar, Oct 9: The Jammu and Kashmir Government Tuesday came in the line of fire in the Legislative Council for "publicizing tenders in little-known newspapers having negligible circulation."
As the minister of state for Roads & Buildings Javaid Ahmad Dar was responding to supplementary questions of Congress legislator Ravinder Kumar Sharma during the Question Hour, Sharma stood up and said the tenders of several works as per the information given by the government have been "advertised in newspapers having no circulation at all."
Sharma had sought information about the newspapers in which tenders were published for allotment of public works in Rajouri district.
The question pertained to the works undertaken by Roads & Buildings Department and implementing agency of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
"Some newspapers are only printed and published for the tenders and issuing advertisement for bidding therein is a big scandal. Even in response to my query government has referred to some newspapers (in which tenders were advertised). But these newspapers don't have any circulation," he said and demanded that the tenders should by published in leading newspapers.
The legislator also took on government for not giving fully reply to the query.
"At most of the places to my reply, the government says that details about the newspapers in which tenders have been published are not available. I want to tell the Minister that my question hasn't been answered fully," Sharma said.
The PDP legislator Murtaza Khan also joined and said "some newspapers are only read by editor and advertiser." "The tenders should be given wide publicity," Khan demanded.
On the occasion Dar passed the buck on the Information Department for issuing advertisements to such newspapers.
"This is not the job of Roads & Buildings Department. We are routing advertisement through the Information Department and then they issue it for publication in newspapers," he said.
"If there is any fault in publication of tenders in newspapers, we will look into it," he said.