March 20, 2015 2:26:54 am
In A bid to bring in more transparency in public procurement policies, the NDA government has decided to revive the long pending Public Procurement Bill, 2012 that was framed by the former UPA government.
Accordingly, the finance ministry has sought proposals for changes to the Bill from civil society, non-government organisations, lawyers and industry bodies by April 10. The Bill had lapsed since the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.
“The Public Procurement Bill, 2012 was introduced in the last Lok Sabha and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on finance in May 2012. No report was given by the Standing Committee and the Bill has since lapsed, said a statement by the finance ministry.
The Bill was tabled in Parliament by former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in May 2012 to regulate public procurement and bring in more accountability and fairness.
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Plans for a law on public procurement were once again announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2015-16 tabled last month.
“Malfeasance in public procurement can perhaps be contained by having a procurement law and an institutional structure consistent with the UNCITRAL model. I believe, Parliament needs to take a view soon on whether we need a procurement law, and if so, what shape it should take,” he had announced.
The 2012 Bill sought to regulate procurement of goods and services of over Rs 50 lakh by Central ministries, departments, central public sector enterprises and autonomous and statutory bodies. Procurement can be done through various options including competitive bidding, two stage bidding, single source procurement, electronic reverse auctions, request for quotations, spot purchase or any other method prescribed by the government.
It also sought to impose a jail term between six months to five years on public servants guilty of demanding and accepting bribes from bidders of government contracts.
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