KOZHIKODE: The state government on Tuesday lowered the minimum slab for e-procurement to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 25 lakh with immediate effect in an effort to deliver transparency in the financial transactions associated with small-scale works undertaken by it.
The government issued an order lowering the slab to Rs 5 lakh following the recommendations from an apex committee for e-governance which met in February this year. All government departments, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and autonomous bodies were directed to follow e-procurement for tenders above Rs 5 lakh. The e-Procurement system is already operational with online payment facility and auto-refund for unsuccessful bidders. As per previous Government Order (GO) issued in 2012, all government departments, PSUs and autonomous bodies were directed to adopt e-procurement for all tenders above Rs 25 lakh.
“After implementation of project, the government has revised the earlier order to previous adoption slab to Rs 5 lakh. With the lowering of the entry threshold value to Rs 5 lakh, more departments or organisations would come under the purview of the e-procurement system, thereby increasing the transparency and efficiency of the tendering process,” said the Director of Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM), Mohammed Y Safirulla. According to data collected by KSITM 167 users which include government departments, PSUs and autonomous Bodies have become online by April 2015. Since inception of the project in 2011, 35072 tenders worth Rs 27,480.86 crores were floated through e-procurement system until April 30, 2015.
The state government had implemented the e-Government Procurement system to enhance transparency and efficiency in Public procurement activities and monitor the same on a real-time basis.
Kerala State IT Mission is the implementing agency for e-Procurement system across the State & NIC is the Service Provider. The project was inaugurated on December 7, 2011.
Contractors’ Assn Hails Govt Move
Meanwhile, Kerala Government Contractors Association welcomed the move by the government. “It is a welcome move as it will enable the government contractors to quickly change their bills once they complete the work. Some section of small-scale contractors raise objection because they are not used to the system,” V K C Mammed Koya, president of Kerala Government Contractors Association. KSITM which is the implementing agency for the project, has a dedicated e-Procurement Project Management Unit (PMU) established in Thiruvananthapuram.