‘Documents of 28m afs MoCIT project not available’
KABUL (Pajhwok): The government has ‘verbally’ finalised a contract worth 28 million afghanis with a local company to develop a cell phone charges collection system for the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MoCIT), a source told Pajhwok Afghan News.
No documents related to the contract had been shared with the delegation tasked by the Presidential Palace with overseeing the bidding process, the source said, but MoCIT spokesman rejected the claim as ‘baseless.’
The government last year imposed a 10 percent tax on mobile phone users based on a presidential decree the Cabinet endorsed when the parliament was on summer recess.
But the tax imposition drew strong criticism amid claims the move had many flaws and was vulnerable to corruption. The MoCI unilaterally took the step to create a separate system for a transparent tax collection from cell phone consumers.
The president, however, tasked a delegation headed by Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi and comprised of officials of the Administrative Affairs Office to oversee the biding process of the contract and access the entire system to ensure transparency.
The presidential decree No. 1990, a copy of which is available with Pajhwok Afghan News, maintains the assigned delegation would hopefully submit their valuable suggestions to the Administrative Affairs Office for final decision. The decree asks MoCIT to completely cooperate with the delegation and provide it all kind of support.
But a source within the ministry said no document regarding the contract was available and no documents in this regard had been submitted to the delegation.
But Yasin Samim, MoCIT spokesman, rejected the allegation and said the delegation had been provided all related documents regarding the contract.
He said the project cost was 28 million afghanis and had been approved by the ministry from technical angle. He added there was no issue in the contract and urged the National Procurement Commission (NPC) to make the payment.
Earlier, the MoCIT’s spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News the project would cost 12 million afghanis to develop a proper system for collection of charges from cell phone users.
Samim said if they did not start work soon on the project after the president’s decree, it would lead to massive losses in revenue on a daily basis.
He said the presidential delegation after their investigation had come to the conclusion that the entire process of awarding the contract had been transparent and competitive.
He said the NPC was involved throughout the process and everything hurriedly happened and there wasn’t much time and that was why they were criticised.
He said the delegation had submitted its suggestions to the Administrative Affairs Office and the government had decided to pay the amount required for the project launch.
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