Datawind, the popular tablet maker and supplier of low-cost Aakash tablet to the government, is likely to complete delivery of 1 lakh units of the device by end of this month. The company has failed to ship the demanded units of Aakash tablets to IIT-Bombay within given deadline due to the requirement of tax exemption certificate given by IIT Bombay to the customs.
Concerned over the delay, 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.
In an interview, Suneet Singh Tuli, Datawind CEO said to PTI:
We expect to complete supply of around around 70,000 units by end of the week. Rest of the units will be supplied in 14 to 15 days.
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.
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 also revealed that the company has sold more than 5 lakh units of commercial version of Aakash tablets under brand name of Ubisate in open market as commercial does not need tax exemption.