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Revisit conventional L1 procurement system, CEAI urges govt

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI), apex body of consulting engineers, has urged the government to revisit the conventional L1 tendering and procurement system to facilitate better management and execution of projects and ensure quality standards.

In the post-coronavirus time and as necessary first step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, changes in the government procurement were utmost important, it said.

The least cost selection method (L1), according to which the work is awarded to the lowest financial offer, is being followed for long in the country. It has often resulted in poor quality of work and procured goods.

The association said the system should move towards a ‘workable rates’ procurement mechanism.

“The changed procurement system, which offers various alternatives to derive workable rates in a transparent manner, will give opportunities to competent firms to plan a project or a bid on workable rates, thereby facilitating better management and execution that will reflect on quality and timelines.

“The L1 system, which is plagued with delays and cost overruns, will ultimately lead to time consuming arbitrations and higher costs,” said Kapila, Chairman, CEAI Infrastructure Committee.

“The change from L1 needs to be brought about as a matter of urgency. How can we buy bullet-proof jackets at L1? How can we buy PPE kits on L1? Do we need to secure our forward line or kill them because we refuse to bring the requisite change in the system. Let us wake up to the immediate requirement of this essential change post haste and move forward if we have to achieve the mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Kapila said.

The country needs a public procurement mechanism, which focuses on quality and cost in all activities in public domain. It was also required to prevent foreign companies from bidding too low with a view to prevent Indian firms from competing.



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