The procurement of sugar from local sugar mills is made as per following procedures:- (i) after award of the tender sugar mills provide performance guarantee and offer its stock for inspection and physical possession;(ii) TCP”s authorised surveyor (pre-qualified panel) inspect the sugar stocks, draw samples in the presence of the representatives of TCP, Mills and Muqaddam.;(iii) the sample duly sealed are sent to PCSIR for quality tests as per PSQCA standards;(iv) TCP makes payment to the sugar mills on receipt of survey report, which includes the finding of the independent surveyor, Lab Test Reports, Handing over, Taking over, Joint Certificate duly singed by representative of TCP, Mills and Muqaddam.
TCP is of the view that present procurement of 100,000 MT sugar is being made by TCP on the directives of ECC of the Cabinet through two tenders of 50,000 MT each. The tenders were accordingly floated in the print media as per Public Procurement Rules 2004. To ensure wider participation maximum bid quantity to be accepted from one mill was fixed as 5,000 MT. In the recent tender opened on August 02, 2013 40 sugar mills participated , out of which four sugar mills quoted the equal lowest bid price of Rs 47,690/-.
As regard action against earlier defaulted mills, it is clarified that TCP has filed suits against the concerned sugar mills in the court of law. Furthermore, in light of ECC of the Cabinet decision, these sugar mills are barred to take part in the tender unless they clear TCP”s outstanding dues with penalty.
BR Staff Reporter Mushtaq Ghumman adds: TCP spokesman has not refuted the charge of collusive tendering of sugar or clarified how it is possible that all the four parties offered the identical price of Rs 47.69 per kg. Presently ex-mill price of sugar is above Rs 50 per kg. The TCP claim that defaulted mills remain blacklisted it is critical that TCP re-examines its record as most of the mills have been allowed to participate in the tendering process. This proposal was processed by the Ministry of Industries and Production by using the platform of ECC. It is also a fact that the surveyors are bribed to get bogus reports on the basis of which the payment is processed.
TCP has also not responded to the question as to what action is being taken against those mills which are using government money without delivery of sugar to the mills as per the agreement. Meanwhile, Transparency International Pakistan maintains that the news that four bidders tendered supply of sugar to TCP at the rate of Rs 47,690 per ton to get an outright allocation of 5000 tons each, is collusion, and that it can not be a coincidence. Transparency International Pakistan has suggested to the government to set up an inquiry into this tender, and stop the policy of doling out the public”s tax money to make sugar millers richer day by day.
On Tuesday Business Recorder broke the story of collusive tendering in sugar procurement and insiders fear that the government”s one billion rupees will be wasted in this shady deal. Chairman TCP, Rizwan Ahmad did not respond to repeated telephone calls and text messages about the doubtful deal.