Anil Pushpangadan, Gandhinagar: In a brazen instance of corruption, the Gujarat state food and civil supplies corporation managing director Manish Bhardwaj and chairman Rajesh Pathak have been found to have purchased two premium smartphones worth more than Rs 2 lakhs and three internet dongles with a five-year subscription worth Rs 50000 using public money. This revelation comes in the wake of numerous questions being raised against the corporation on the ongoing issue of groundnut procurement and regular incidents of fire at warehouses storing the produce bought by the state at minimum support price.

According to general administration department rules, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer is allowed to purchase a mobile phone worth not more than Rs 20,000 but Bhardwaj went way past limit and purchased two Apple iPhones worth more than Rs 2 lakhs. As per a tax invoice dated June 6, 2018, and billed in the name of Gujarat State Civil Supply Corporation, two Apple iPhone X 256GB each valued at Rs 91,071.43, were bought from Kabir Technologies Pvt Ltd at Haveli Arcade in Sector 11 of Gandhinagar. The GST paid on this purchase was Rs 10, 928.57 for each smartphone, i.e. 12 percent. The total cost paid to the seller was Rs 2,04,000.

The smartphones were being allegedly used by chairman Rajesh Pathak and MD Manish Bhardwaj. They even billed the corporation Rs 50,000 for internet subscription for 5 years. At a time when the government talks about efficient governance and optimum spending for it, this revelation has laid bare the rotting corruption in the corporation where the hard-earned money of the taxpayers are blown away by its officials.

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