Government tenders worth Rs 15,000 crore cancelled over discriminatory conditions against domestic players

Concerns have been raised by top government authorities on the restrictive and discriminatory clauses being imposed on domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tender documents for public procurement.

Published: 14th September 2018 03:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2018 03:26 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: Government tenders worth over Rs 15,000 crore were cancelled due to highly discriminatory conditions against domestic companies, a top official said Friday.

Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said the cancelled tenders were re-issued by making changes to promote 'Make in India' initiative of the government.

He said a lot of government departments and PSUs are discriminating against Indian companies by having highly discriminatory tender conditions, and the issues are being actually addressed now.

"We find that now we are getting more and more industry complaints and they point out how the tender conditions are completely crazy. Nobody can justify that.

"We have got more than Rs 15,000 crore of tenders by various government departments cancelled and they are re-tendered because the conditions were completely unacceptable. I think, Indian industry needs at least level playing field," he said here at a function.

The government issued public procurement order, 2017 in June last year to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India and enhance income and employment in the country.

Concerns have been raised by top government authorities on the restrictive and discriminatory clauses being imposed on domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tender documents for public procurement.

The DIPP has asked the departments and public sector units (PSUs) for issuance of guidelines and notifications relating to declarations of items with sufficient local capacity, domestic content.

Under the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, it was envisaged that all central government departments, their attached or subordinate offices and autonomous bodies controlled by the Centre should ensure purchase preference be given to domestic suppliers in government procurement.

It also provides 20 per cent margin of purchase preference, while the minimum local content required shall ordinarily be 50 per cent.

Further, talking about improving ease of doing business, Abhishek said the government is taking several steps in this direction but still lot needs to be done.

He said innovation ecosystem is generally weak in the country as firms are not investing significantly in research and development-related activities.

"We have a complex regulatory environment despite lot of improvement being done.

Still there are lot of complexities that we need to address," he said.

He emphasised the need to put special focus on reducing cost of production, flexible policies on labour, easy land transactions, logistics, cut in regulatory burdens, adoption of standards and increasing export competitiveness.

The DIPP secretary said the proposed new industry policy would be approved soon by the government.

The DIPP would issue a series of recommendations in the policy on "what all we need to do about increasing export competitiveness," he added.

Speaking at the event, Environment Secretary CK Mishra said industry and government should work together for a "responsible growth".

"Ministry of Environment should not really be seen as a regulatory ministry but a development ministry whose charter is really to help industry grow in a manner which does not adversely impact the environment," he said.

Mishra added that there is a need to find a balance between environment conservation and development.

India is committed to reducing its emission intensity by 30-35 per cent by 2030 and "let me tell you that the present emission norms which we are supposed to globally achieve, that is reduction by about 20 per cent by 2020, we will do much better than that," he added.

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