Srinagar: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has expressed concern over non-compliance with government orders by various departments regarding the procurement of 25 percent of their total annual procurement of goods or services from Micro, Small and Medium enterprises and has urged for strict action against violators of orders.
In a statement issued here, FCIK stated that a government circular issued earlier makes it mandatory upon all government departments and Public sector undertakings to earmark and procure a minimum of 25 percent of the total overall annual procurement of goods or services from MSMEs besides earmarking 3 percent from within 25 percent target for micro and small enterprises owned by women, was openly being flouted.
FCIK has informed that the violation was mainly being done by the engineering departments under the garb of “providing and fixing” affixed to the nomenclature of any industrial product in their NITs to convert its configuration to a so-called works contract.
“In some cases where the engineering departments make it open for both MSMEs and the contractors, the work order is grabbed by the latter for having quoted lesser rates than a manufacturing unit”, said the spokesman of FCIK, surprised that “how was it possible that a contractor who ought to procure industrial goods from a manufacturing unit before their installation could win the very contract from the same manufacturing unit in a tendering competition,” reads the statement.
FCIK has drawn the attention of the government towards the use of untested, unauthentic, low quality and deviation in the use of the material in many of these works contracts.
“Whereas the power transformers, conductors and other equipment manufactured by local industry were subjected to multiple and rigorous testing before delivery, such a process was dormant in most of the works contracts”, said FCIK adding that this paved way for the installation of untested and substandard goods.
It has also been observed that many contractors were using imported deodar-resembling timber against specified deodar specie mentioned in the contracts, informed FCIK.
“Such imported timber is far less in cost than Deodar which is sold only by the J&K State Forest Corporation alone” said FCIK adding that “departments required to ascertain in the first instance that how could a contractor quote rates below the average sale price of JKSFC if he didn’t intend to deviate from specifications later”.
"FCIK had recently taken up the matter of the use of Rajasthani Kota stone in place of local devri stone tiles in a smart city project which amounted to brazen deviation from the specifications. All such quality issues could be taken care of only when these industrial goods were procured from industrial units."
FCIK has urged all Administrative departments to monitor that their subordinate offices adhere to the government instructions regarding earmarking and procurement of 25 percent of their annual requirements from MSMEs besides segregating industrial goods from works contracts.
The finance department has already established that a meagre cost towards the installation of an industrial product could not change its nomenclature to a works contract, informed FCIK.
FCIK has invited the attention of Principal Secretary PWD and Chief Engineer R&B towards the NIT No: 05 of R&B/Khanabal/2023-24/E-Tendering/1035-44 dated 24-04-2023 issued by Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Khanabal for 16 various works and has sought their intervention in making the concerned to change the eligibility criteria for specified industrial related works to keep it restricted to registered MSMEs only.