Cabinet approves competitive online bidding for procurement efficiency

CHANDIGARH, MARCH 2: The Punjab Cabinet led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday approved “The Punjab Labour and Cartage Policy 2019-20” for labour work and cartage of food grains from mandis to the storage points at minimum rates through competitive tenders from various contractors.

The decision, taken at the Council of Ministers’ meeting chaired by the Chief Minister here at his official residence today, is aimed at bringing further operational efficiency and transparency in procurement of food grains.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that for the ensuing season, commencing from April 1, labour operations in godowns and cartage of food grains from mandis to various storage points, located up to 8 Kilometers (KMs) from such mandi(s)/purchase centre(s), would be allowed through a competitive online tender process.

This would be done by district tender committees, of which the respective Deputy Commissioners would be the Chairpersons, with district FCI head, district heads of all state procurement agencies and district Controller of Food Supplies as members. The tenders under this policy would be invited for the financial year 2019-20 and would be valid for the period from 1-04-2019 to 31-03-2020.

Further, to ensure greater financial viability, slab-wise labour rates have been prescribed in Provincial Reserve Form (PR 66) incorporated in the policy, listing out rates per tonne from beyond 1 KM to up to 8 KMs of distance covered. No premium beyond 120% of these basic rates mentioned in the PR 66 shall be permissible in any case. The powers to open the tenders, evaluation of technical bids and finalization of the financial bid shall lie with these Committees, the spokesperson added.

To ensure minimum expenditure on transportation of food grains, tenders would be invited cluster wise, and the entire tendering process shall be completed through e-tender on the website of e-tender portal of Punjab Government i.e.

It may be noted that the state procuring agencies of Punjab, namely PUNGRAIN, MARKFED, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC), PUNSUP, along with Food Corporation of India (FCI), procure food grains every year for the Central Pool or for Public Distribution System (PDS) at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed by the Government of India.

The detailed procedure regarding service of notice, cancellation of work, levy of penalty and blacklisting has been made part of the policy this year. District Tender Committees have been given the right to blacklist deficient contractor up to a period of 2 years, besides forfeiture of security and levying of penalty up to 2% of the total contract value, depending on the merit of each case.