Kathmandu, January 2
By revising the procurement guidelines for the record ninth time — the fourth time in a span of just seven months — the government has given contractors a leeway to exploit state resources.
In the latest revision, the government has modified the earlier provision that required contractors to pay a penalty of one per cent of the bid amount and return the principal and interest on the amount received as mobilisation fund if they were unable to stick to the construction schedule.
The government gives 10 per cent of the bid amount to the contractor that bags a project as mobilisation fund.
The amended rule states, “No matter what is written elsewhere in the guidelines, the extension of the deadline pursuant to sub-section (6a) will not be taken.”
This means that the latest amendment will cost the state millions of rupees that the errant contractor would otherwise have to pay, while on the other hand, the contractor will be able to get one extension after another if it is unable to complete a project on time.
On August 2, the government had amended the public procurement guidelines for the eighth time after class ‘A’ contractors were found to be forming a syndicate in the bidding process for government tenders. Back then, the government had also included a provision that stated that any contractor that had been charged in corruption cases would not be allowed to participate in any government tender.