Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia’s plan to hold a Facebook Live session on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has come across an unexpected hurdle. The Directorate of Information & Publicity (DIP) has told the Delhi Finance Minister that the online event cannot be held as an open tender has not been floated for the event. DIP told the Delhi minister that the tender was required to hold the event as they themselves did not have specialisation and that it lacked the technical competence to organise such a social media campaign, DIP said that they had no other option but to deny permission to the minister to hold the event, as reported in The Indian Express.
After he was not given permission to hold the event, Sisodia shot off a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary. In the letter, Sisodia said that he was surprised by the audacity of the DIP officials. The minister gave an ultimatum to the Chief Secretary stating that either the event will be held on June 5 or that the officers be removed. Sources have told the Indian Express that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held the Facebook event on June 1.
A Delhi government source told the Indian Express that, ”The entire situation is ridiculous. All you need for a Facebook live is to log in to a smartphone and press the live video button. How does an open tender come into this? This is a case of incompetence.”
Sisodia wanted to do a Facebook live on the GST as he wanted to get a better understanding of what common people and small traders want from the GST. The Delhi government had passed the GST Bill in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday. Sisodia has met representatives of 32 trade associations, according to the Indian Express.
Sisodia has written two letters to the DIP dated May 26 and May 30. In both letters the minister stressed on the importance of holding the event to the DIP ahead of GST council meeting on June 3, a source told the Indian Express.
The DIP in its response to the minister has stated that no agency is available with the DIP which can undertake such an event the agency also told the minister in its response that they couldn’t complete the work in the time frame as the tendering process alone would take a month, according to an Indian Express report.