LUCKNOW: Amid the ongoing tension at China border, the Uttar Pradesh government has issued orders to all the departments to ban bidders for procurement from ‘certain’ countries that share their land borders with the country.
The move comes after the Centre imposed a ban on Chinese apps on Wednesday.
It will, however, not affect the countries where India is already engaged in implementing development projects, said the highly placed sources. However, the sources claimed that the order should be seen in reference to countries like China, Pakistan and Nepal.
Releasing the order undersigned by state government’s joint secretary (finance) Sanjay Kumar Mishra was issued on August 26, 2020, in compliance of a directive issued by the Centre to the UP government in this connection.
The sources claimed that through the order all the additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and secretaries were asked to ‘take necessary action’ as expected by the union government on the issue. The subject of the order is: ‘Ban on bidders from certain countries in public procurement’.
“The Union government’s letter has directly been forwarded to the departments to avoid any confusion. We are not sure how many bidders will be affected by the decision,” said a senior officer of the state government. Mishra has also circulated a copy of the letter dated July 23, 2020, from the union government’s
secretary (expenditure) TV Somanathan to the officers of all the departments to enable them to take necessary action as expected in the letter dated July 23, 2020.
“As you are aware, state governments play an important role in national security and the defence of India. The government of India’s general financial rules have been amended to provide for restrictions on procurement from bidders from a country or countries or class of countries on grounds of defence of India or matters directly or indirectly related thereto, including national security….
Keeping in view the circumstances, it is imperative for the defence of India and national security that the same restrictions be applied in respect of procurement by state governments and their public undertakings, as well as in public-private partnership projects receiving financing from state governments,” said the letter issued by the Centre.
The centre’s letter further apprised the state government about the Union government’s decision requiring the state governments to implement the said orders, with respect to ‘procurements’ by the state government, by state government public undertakings, local bodies and all agencies controlled by them as well as the PPP projects receiving support from state governments or state government undertakings.
The Union government, however, has asked the state government to set up a competent authority for prior registration of the bidders, saying: “The order shall stand modified to the extent that the competent authority for registration shall be constituted by the state government with such membership as it may deem appropriate.”
However, political clearance from the ministry of external affairs and security clearance from the ministry of home affairs before registration will be necessary, said the Centre’s communication to the state.