Press Release: ‘Procurement of laptops was transparent’

Published: April 8, 2012

Rehman: Punjab government purchased the laptops at price lower than market rate. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, in a press release issued on Saturday, defended the Punjab government’s distribution of 125,000 laptops among students. 

He termed the initiative a “great success” that had helped “bridge the digital divide” and provided access to modern tools of education.

The release said that the procurement had been “transparent”, in which open bids had been invited. A comparative statement had been prepared and contract awarded to the firm that quoted the lowest price. The laptops had been acquired from a Dell-authorised dealer, Inbox which will also provide after sale services and warranty.

Rehman said that the Punjab government had purchased the laptops at a price lower than the market rate, “[A] Core i3 computer costs Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 more than the [price at which the laptop was] procured by the Punjab Government.”

The press release stated that the company had allowed the Punjab government to make the payment 30 days after acceptance of delivery.

The system specifications were also listed in the release, according to which the laptops being given away are Dell Inspiron 4050s with a 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, DVD writer, WiFi, Bluetooth, three-in-one media card reader, HDMI ports and a high resolution (1366 x 768) display. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Apr 8, 2012 - 11:46AM

    Laptops with LINUX Operating System. Seems nobody in the Punjab Govt knew LINUX is too uncommon in Pakistan and users will face problems in re-installation and change of OS.
    Shows the level of PLANNING done for the scheme (in absolute hurry after PTI’s 30 Oct Jalsa off course)

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  • Bilal
    Apr 8, 2012 - 1:15PM

    I have an HP ProBook 4530 with BETTER features than the one quoted above and it cost me Rs. 46,000 about 8 months ago. And I was a single buyer, Punjab gov bought in bulk!

    I have no doubt in mind that some people made big money in this scheme. These laptops could have been bought for no more than Rs. 30,000 per piece in bulk.

    Corrupt PML-N government!!

    For Gods sake we do not need these laptop, sasti roti and Benazir Income support programmes!! You have wasted BILLIONS on these useless publicity stunts! Imagine if all this money had been spent on solving some real problems like electricity, education or health.

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  • Irfan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:16PM

    @Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA:

    Thats not it. The reason that the laptops were given pre-installed with Linux was that Windows actually costs money while Linux is open soruce i.e. it is free. The inclusion of Windows as an operating system would have increased the cost by at least Rs.4000 per laptop.

    You cannot distribute a pirated copy of Windows at government level so it was decided to let the students install a pirated copy themselves!

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  • Irfan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @Bilal:
    Dude, You really need a reality check! These laptops were not only bought in bulk but they also didn’t have the windows operating system, Government taxes were not applicable on them, and there were no retailers or middle men involved to take their cut.

    Considering all these factors, the price of one laptop couldn’t have been more than Rs.15,000.

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  • Bilal
    Apr 8, 2012 - 7:42PM

    Irfan, I put the maximum price imaginable in these circumstances. Anyways the point is as I said someone made BIG money.

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  • s. Ahmed
    Apr 9, 2012 - 2:54AM

    @Bilal:
    Anything is better than nothing. So it’s like shukhria.

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