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BMC extends vaccine tender deadline, gets responses from three firms with Sputnik V offer

Three distributors who can supply Sputnik V have shown interest in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) global tender for procurement of 1 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
May 19, 2021 2:14:58 am
The development comes on a day the BMC extended the last date for submission of bids by one week to May 25.

Three distributors who can supply Sputnik V have shown interest in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) global tender for procurement of 1 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Of these two are Hyderabad-based firms while another is a facilitator from the United Kingdom. However, their proposals are incomplete and the corporation has asked for more documentation.

The development comes on a day the BMC extended the last date for submission of bids by one week to May 25.

These responses, according to the officials, were received after the decision was made to extend the deadline for bid submission. Earlier, the last date and time for submission of bids for expression of interest (EOI) was 1pm on May 18. Officials have refused to reveal the names of the three firms, which have expressed interest to the BMC.

“All three responses were received by evening (Tuesday). But these responses are incomplete as some paperwork is missing. As we have extended the deadline, these bidders can submit the remaining paperwork. In these seven days, other firms can also submit their bids,” said P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner.

Officials said that boÿth Indian firms have failed to submit authorisation letters from Sputnik V along with few other documents to show that they are in agreement with the manufacturers of the Russian vaccine. The international firm’s proposal, too, has some incomplete papers that are required as per the EOI.

“We will scrutinise all details and no bids will be entertained without proper documentations,” Velrasu said.

Last week, the first dose of Sputnik V was administered in Hyderabad. The price of the vaccine has been fixed at Rs 995 for one dose. So far, about 3 lakh doses of Sputnik V have been delivered in India. By July, manufacturing of Sputnik V will begin in India in association with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding uniform guidelines for global tenders for vaccine procurement.

On May 12, BMC floated an expression of interest (EOI) for purchase of 1 crore Covid-19 vaccines from the international market but did not get any response till May 18, Tuesday — the previous deadline for submission of bids.

On May 14, to get some clarity on issues faced by potential vaccine suppliers and to ease the way for them, the BMC had published a ‘Request of Deviation’ under which interested suppliers can ask for exemption from clauses mentioned in the EOI. “It should be noted that request for deviation is only to understand the practical difficulties of potential vaccine suppliers to MCGM (BMC), and the Municipal Commissioner reserves all the rights not to consider any request for deviation,” stated the notice.

While the BMC had barred China from bidding for the tender, it was hoping to get response from manufacturers of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V, along with companies such as Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. According to officials, the firms bidding for supplying vaccines to Mumbai will have to secure all mandatory clearances, including those needed from the Drugs Controller General of India.

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