PM Modi expresses concern on restrictive clauses hindering public procurement; MSMEs demand anonymous complaint mechanism
New Delhi, Mar 17 (KNN) The Prime Minister during a review meeting, expressed concern at the restrictive and discriminatory clauses being imposed against domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tender documents for public procurement.
These observations were made during the course of review of the implementation of the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) (PPP-MII) Order, 2017.
“While the Government of India is committed to ensuring that both quality and price considerations are not compromised, this should not lead to imposing conditions that result in unreasonable exclusion of domestic suppliers”, an official release said.
Talking to KNN, H.S. Chopra, Managing Director, Data Technosys (Engineers) Pvt Ltd said that twhen it comes to the discrimination being done in public procurement process, it is rampant.
Chopra said that for any entrepreneur, there is only a certain amount of energy that it can invest towards seeking fair mechanism, after which the hopes are shattered and they give up.
“Fighting for a fair mechanism itself involves a lot of time and energy, and not every entrepreneur can do that”, he said.
Explaining the concern further, he informed that the bureaucratic layers that are involved in the procurement process makes it impossible for ‘transparency’ to penetrate.
Citing a case, Chopra said that his firm tried applying for a tender with power sector. Earlier the notification said that the applicant is supposed to submit the EMD and tender cost on the website and the document would open for the applicant. When he completed the formality, it did not open, following which he called the helpline number but it did not help either.
Next his firm approached the department wherein the department informed that the applicant should not upload , instead it is to be sent in person.
“Our representative is chasing the officer with the documents since past two days and so far it has not fetched us any hope”, he said.
Chopra said that with the PM himself acknowledging the concern now, it shows the gravity of the situation. The government must come up with a complaint redressal mechanism under high level committee and the complainant shouldn’t be asked to reveal the identity, he suggested.
In the review meeting, specific cases of such restrictive and discriminatory conditions against domestic manufacturers pertaining to Ministry of Railways and Metro Rail Coaches were examined. Directions were given to ensure strict compliance of the PPP-MII Order in letter and spirit. Further, all nodal Ministries were directed to ensure notification of local content in the next 10 days, whereafter the Cabinet Secretary would be reviewing each individual nodal Ministry, the government release said.
"It was also observed that of e-tenders issued on the Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) for the financial year 2017-18, almost 47% pertain to works in terms of value (Rs.6.65 lakh crores out of total of Rs.14.18 lakh crores). It was categorically clarified that the PPP-MII Order is also applicable to procurement of works, including turnkey works, besides goods and services".
A dedicated cell in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion will look into such grievances, before issuing necessary directions. Further all procuring entities would be required to certify that they are complying with the PPP-MII Order, the release from the government added. (With PIB Inputs) (KNN/DA)