It pulled up the state for centralising the supply of nutritional supplements, but new tenders are still likely to favour contractors over local women’s groups.

On Monday, when the Bombay High Court quashed tenders worth Rs 6,300 crore issued by Maharashtra’s Women and Child Development department, the headlines projected it as yet another setback for the department’s scam-accused minister Pankaja Munde.

While that may indeed be the case, the petitioners in the case, who mainly comprise mahila bachatgats or small women’s self-help groups, are not entirely happy with the verdict. The court order appears to provide them with relief, but they claim it doesn’t actually address the crux of the matter – that of big contractors monopolising government tenders seemingly tailor-made for them, at the cost of smaller self-help groups.


(The article has been re-published after attaining special permission from