July 18, 2013 RIZWAN BHATTI
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) on Wednesday postponed opening of urea import tender as the Transparency International Pakistan has accused it of violating Public Procurement Rules 2004. According to Public Procure-ment Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules any procurement tender issued by government agencies will not be less than 30 days period and all government departments are required to take prior permission from PPRA, in case of short period tender.
However, the state-run grain trader on July 7, 2013 issued a gallop tender with 10 days period for the import of 0.3 million tons of urea through international suppliers without getting any prior permission from PPRA for a short period tender. Sources said that Transparency International Pakistan raised objection over this violation and refused to participate in the urea import tendering process, which forced the TCP to postpone the tendering process for a few days.
As per announcement the tender was scheduled to open on July 17, 2013 at 11 am at TCP head office and some bids were also submitted by pre-qualified bidders. However, TCP postponed the opening of urea import tender without quoting any reason. “Yes, the TCP has postponed the urea import tender and now the tender will be opened on Monday dated July 22, 2013 at 11:30 am,” the TCP official said. He said that reportedly the tendering has been postponed following the directives of the federal government. Sources said earlier, TCP officials claimed that ministry of industries has already obtained a NOC from PPRA for gallop tender, however actually no permission was taken from PPRA for gallop urea import tender.
They said that Transparency International Pakistan”s strict attitude has compelled the TCP to delay the tendering and take prior NOC from PPRA before opening a gallop tender. “We regret to inform you that Transparency International Pakistan will not attend the tender opening meeting as this procurement is against the Public Procurement Rules 2004,” said a letter sent to newly appointed Chairman TCP Rizwan Ahmed on Wednesday morning by Transparency International Pakistan advisor Adil Gilani.
With regard to short period for the tender, Transparency International Pakistan also advised TCP to postpone the tender for at least one week and simultaneously request PPRA for accordingly curtail the period of urea import tender as this procurement is required urgently. The authority to deal with public procurement rules 2004 is only and only the PPRA, who under the PPRA ordinance 2002 may accord such approvals, the letter said.
Source said in the letter, a copy of which also sent to DG NAB and MD PPRA, Transparency International Pakistan has requested the Managing Director Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) to take action under section 5(2) (a) “monitor application of the laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures in respect of, or relating to, procurement,” and under section 5 (2) (i) of the PPRA Ordinance. The Transparency International Pakistan has pointed out that the international prices of urea are coming down and in last few months it fell by 25 percent from $400 per ton (FoB) to $300 per ton and the delay in the process in this procurement is also expected to benefit Pakistan.
Source: Business Recorder