Yogi Govt for e-tendering all contracts; MSMEs urge govt to fill grey areas

 New Delhi, Apr 22 (KNN) The newly elected Uttar Pradesh government led by CM Yogi Adityanath announced a series of decisions at the state cabinet meet on April 18th. To curb the prevailing corruption in the tendering procedure, Yogi Government decided that it would award government contracts only via ‘E-Tendering’. 

While this decision is being popularly welcomed, the industry wants the UP government to work on the grey areas surrounding the mechanism before it implements hundred per cent e-tendering for government contracts.

Talking to KNN, H.S Arora, Director of Data Technosis explained the shortcomings of the e-tendering procedure.

Simplified yet complicated procedures.

The contracts which entertain e-Tendering often involve a lot of complicated steps which are not very clearly mentioned on the websites. For instance to file a tender, the vendors are asked to apply online and submit a hard copy of the application. “If I am filing a tender online, why is it that I am asked to submit an offline copy of the same, this in a way nullifies the ‘simplification’ e-tendering claims to offer” said Arora.

Problem of miscommunication

In many cases the information is not up to date on the websites. The official notice and corrigendum that is issued, they come on the websites quite late and don’t provide all the relevant information that is required for the filing of tenders. Stating a case,

Arora said that he filed an E-tender with the M.P Government recently, there was a corrigendum issued that extended the date of submitting the hard copy. Following the notice, his company submitted the document in time. But when the tender opened he was denied a spot saying that after the corrigendum he was supposed to file the tender again on the website. The tender had just three names in the list. Arora claims that this was done deliberately to facilitate the vendors who had bribed the officials  “Nowhere in the notice did it mention that we are supposed to re-file the e-tender. Since we were denied a spot based on that ground,  we have approached the matter legally” Arora added

Improper backend support/helpline services.

There are a lot of technicalities that are involved in the process of filing a tender online. Vendors often face issues accessing the websites and official documents. Even the helplines set up by the government fail to address these concerns claimed Arora. “The website often fail to load, it is very difficult to access the notice on the government websites as the version of software on the site doesn’t match the ones on our computer, the government must take into account this problem and come up with software and mechanisms that are smooth” said Arora.

He also spoke about the ambiguity over the jurisdiction they are supposed to approach in cases where the vendors want to file a legal complaint. “In one of the cases where my filing of the tender did not show up in the list, I approached the officials, they directed me to file a case at consumer forum saying as vendors you are consumer of the website”.

While the industry does welcome the step by the UP government, they want the CM to ensure a well maintained and credible e-tendering mechanism. (KNN/ DA)