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Now Government may consult suppliers to finalise tender details

 New Delhi, Apr 21 (KNN) As a game changing initiative, Government will be now open to suggestions and recommendations of the probable suppliers in finalising the tender specifications.

The revised version of the ‘Government Financial Rules (GFR)’, which stipulates procedures and processes for Government procurements, mentions about such provisions in Government tendering.

MSME suppliers to Government and PSUs regularly complain that the tender conditions are often impractical or biased towards particular suppliers.

However, so far, there was no scope to amend as the procuring authorities finalised the tender conditions  as per their own wisdom, without any consultation with the stakeholders.

GFR 2017 is now includes a ‘Two Stage Bidding’ system, under which bidders in the first stage will be consulted towards amending the tender conditions to satisfy the  basic requirements and at the same time facilitating bidders to supply.

Commenting on the development, Mr. V K Agarwal, Past President, FISME, mentioned, that this is a welcome step followed by countries like Israel.

“Government also need to remove the pre- qualification conditions which  perpetuate monopoly of the favoured ones”, commented Agarwal.

He also opined that the requirements of prior experience on part of tenderers also effectively eliminate new firms from making entry in government departments/PSUs.

The public procurement market is said to be  around 20 – 30% of the Indian GDP globally Governments ensure a fair share of the MSMEs in Government tenders.

The public procurement order for MSMEs issued in 2012 stipulates a share of 20%  to the MSMEs of total Government procurements.

However, even after five years of its  issue the Order could not ensure even half of the set target market.

Research by FISME, the leading federation of Indian MSMEs, shows that the tender pre- qualification criteria and biased specifications are the two biggest roadblocks towards participation of MSMEs in public procurement.

It is expected that the consultation approach will address  some of the challenges the MSMEs face in Government supply.

While two stage bidding has been mentioned by the GFR 2017, as one of the  methods of procurement, it will be wise to make it compulsory above a certain  value of the tender. (KNN/ DB)