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Government Tenders no more a closed fortress?

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 Presently, all Government tenders prescribe certain set eligibility criteria for prospective supplier of goods and services against every infrastructure related project – especially those related to roads, water and sanitation.

  1. They have essentially three categories of contractors – A, B, & C with A being the most coveted contractor having relevant experience and having executed contracts worth “X” number of crores in rupee terms in the past 3 years. ‘C’ category invariably gets only “chota-mota” work related to a few repair jobs and it is presumed that the ‘C’ category chap will ultimately grow to become ‘A’ category.
  2. This system precludes all foreign companies represented in India by Marketing Agents / Distributors / Dealers etc from participating in these tenders. This is blatantly unfair as a whole category of efficient technologies is never able to break through the cartel of indigenous suppliers of goods and services. While government has a bounden duty to encourage indigenous companies, it cannot afford to shut out better, more efficient and ecologically sustainable technologies. These new technologies should be evaluated for cost effectiveness if necessary, before rejecting.
  3. For example in the case of rainwater harvesting which has now been made mandatory, as a world leader in providing the best RWH system, there is a company which claims they provide free drinking quality water sourced from rainwater. What they charge for is merely the cost of the storage tank. If we accept this argument, then cost of imported storage tanks works out to Rs. 5.50 per litre against a concrete tank which any contractor will confirm costs not less than Rs. 7.50 per litre.
  4. The above example was given merely to highlight the fact that all imported items do not necessarily cost the earth. Moreover in the field of water supply, Government has exempted all equipment and supplies related to providing drinking quality water from all Customs Duty. So really speaking it is a complete misnomer to presume imported solutions cost more than indigenous solutions.
  5. Same logic applies to contracts being floated for roads and storm water drains remodeling. By shutting out improved / ecologically sustainable solutions available from far corners of the world from participating in Government tenders, we are literally becoming insular.
  6. During a recent conference held in Hyderabad under the aegis of the Indian green Building Council, the Chief executive of Central Public works department (CPWD) – Mr. Singhal, accepted the fact that rules should be amended to allow participation of at least those foreign companies who provide state of the art “green” solutions. They could be listed under a separate category over and above ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories of contractors that are presently being permitted and counted as being eligible to quote.
  7. If only BBMP / BWSSB and other State Government Agencies in Karnataka took the initiative to lead the way, perhaps we might end up getting used to world class facilities being provided in namma Bengaluru!

It appers that BBMP is going to introduce e tendering process to facilitate foreign companies in its official site This needs exploring further.

Tender Wizard is an exclusive, most vibrant end to end solution for buying / selling of products and services through tendering process. It supports A - Z activities of tendering based on proactive work flow concept. Fine details of tendering like vendor registration, tender announcement and corrigendum, tender form processing, opening, negotiation and tender awarding are supported in a real time interactive environment. Tender Wizard creates a true dynamic market place for both buyers and vendors to interact with each other and transact business.


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RKCHARI's picture


188 users have liked.

PSA Garu,

Many thanks for succinctly bringing out a vital issue. Glad to note there is an avenue for foreign companies participating through e-tendering in BBMP. Will check up the link.

Did I mention that we did a study of Bangalore's storm water drains - a representative portion of all 835 kms of SWDs that BBMP has identified and found that excellent solution can be provided for all 835 Kms at literally one-fifth the cost of Rs. 6,600 that BBMP has earmarked for this project!

I think one person who appears to be receptive to innovative technologies is Dr. A. Ravindra, Advisor to CM on Infrastructure Projects. Besides being most accessible, he receives each suggestion with utmost courtesy and interest!

Best regards


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