India imposes restrictions on public bidding from land neighbours

The Indian government on Thursday imposed restrictions on bidders, from countries that share a land border with India, in public procurements, services, or other works, on grounds of national security

Jul 24, 2020
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The Indian government on Thursday imposed restrictions on bidders, from countries that share a land border with India, in public procurements, services, or other works, on grounds of national security. However, relaxation is provided only if the bidder is registered with the competent authority, an official statement said.

"The Government of India today amended the 'General Financial Rules 2017' to enable imposition of restrictions on bidders from countries which share a land border with India on grounds of defence of India, or matters directly or indirectly related thereto including national security," it said.

"The Department of Expenditure has, under the said rules, issued a detailed order on public procurement to strengthen the defence of India and national security."

As per the order, any bidder from countries sharing a land border with India will be eligible to bid in any procurement whether of goods, services, including consultancy services, or works, including turnkey projects, only if the bidder is registered with the 'Competent Authority'.

The Registration Committee, constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), will be the Competent Authority for registration.

"Political and security clearance from the Ministries of External and Home Affairs, respectively, will be mandatory," the statement said.

"The order takes into its ambit public sector banks and financial institutions, Autonomous Bodies, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and Public Private Partnership projects receiving financial support from the government or its undertakings.

According to the statement, the Centre has written to the Chief Secretaries of the state governments, invoking the provisions of Article 257(1) of t he Constitution for the implementation of this order in procurement by state governments and state undertakings.

"For State Government procurements, the Competent Authority will be constituted by the states but political and security clearance will remain necessary," the statement said.

Nonetheless, relaxation has been provided in certain limited cases, including for procurement of medical supplies for containment of Covid-19 global pandemic till December 31, 2020.

"By a separate Order, countries to which Government of India extends lines of credit or provides development assistance have been exempted from the requirement of prior registration," the statement said.

The said provisions will apply to all new tenders.

"In respect of tenders already invited, if the first stage of evaluation of qualifications has not been completed, bidders who are not registered under the new order will be treated as not qualified. If this stage has been crossed, ordinarily the tenders will be cancelled and the process started de novo," the statement said.

"The order will also apply to other forms of public procurement. It does not apply to procurement by the private sector."
(IANS)

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