Datawind, supplier of low-cost Aakash tablet to the government, has said it expects to complete delivery of 1 lakh units of the device by end of this month.
“We expect to complete supply of around 70,000 units by end of the week. Rest of the units will be supplied in 14 to 15 days,” Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said.
Concerned over the tardy progress, the HRD Ministry had written to IIT Bombay (the executing body) to ensure the vendor (Datawind) meets the terms and conditions and the supply order by March 31 in letter and spirit, failing which action could be initiated against it.
The company could not, however, meet the deadline.
Datawind CEO said that it has not received any notice from IIT Bombay on the matter but was called for a meeting.
“We have reviewed with them causes for delay. The contract has penalty mechanism but we hope they won’t (levy penalty). They understand causes for delay. Meeting has not concluded and they will continue meeting early next week,” Tuli said.
He added that delay in supply was caused because customs required some clarification on tax exemption certificate given by IIT Bombay.
“Tax exemption certificates issued by IIT Bombay required clarification by customs and that caused significant delay. We lost five weeks from November 10 to December 14, 2012. Then we lost 7 weeks from February 1 to March 23 where we were unable to clear components under IIT Bombay tax exemption certificate,” he said.
Tuli said going forward he does not expect delays in customs process as clearances for the product is smooth now.
Tuli said it has sold around 5 lakh units of commercial version of Aakash tablets under brand name of Ubisate in open market as commercial does not need tax exemption.
Government under Aakash project is procuring this tablet for Rs 2,263 apiece and for students it is giving them at price of Rs 1,130 a unit.