Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has denied that it had violated Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules in tender for hiring of transport for sugar export saying that a short period tender was issued following the PPRA advice.
In response to PPRA letter regarding application of Public Procurement Rules 2004 in transport hiring for sugar export, TCP on Tuesday sent a letter to the authority saying that PPRA has already permitted that condition of response time not applied, if bids are being invited only from pre-qualified bidders.
Responding to PPRA, the state-run grain trader in its letter said that TCP dispatched the tender notice to PPRA on August 31, 2012 for publication and as far as the 15 days’ response time for national competitive bidding is concerned, TCP sought bids only from pre-qualified suppliers/contractors/services providers under PPRA rules 2004.
In addition, TCP has also drawn attention of PPRA towards its advice issued on June 7, 2012 for urea import tender. In this advice PPRA said that “TCP has already made a selection of pre-qualified foreign suppliers (exporters) for import of urea. If the process of pre-qualification of bidders for import of urea has been carried out in accordance with Public Procurement Rules, 2004, then the bids can be invited only from pre-qualified bidders, without making an advertisement in the print media. As such the condition of 30 days response time for international competitive bidding does not apply.” Therefore, the response time of 15 days in the transport hiring tender was curtailed in the light of PPRA advice since bids/rates were called from TCP’s already pre-qualified firms, TCP mentioned.
TCP, in its letter, has also requested PPRA to withdraw its office memorandum issued to TCP in this regard as pre-qualification in TCP is done strictly in accordance with Public Procurement Rules 2004. Meanwhile, reference to a news item captioned “PPRA accuses TCP of violation of tender rules” appeared in Business Recorder on Tuesday, TCP has explained that it was agreed between Pakistan and Tajik governments to urgently supply 30,000 tons sugar to Tajikistan via Afghanistan by land route.
The Tajik side stressed on urgency in view of the fact that as the time before snowfall, which closes the road between Shair Khan Bandar and Dushanbe, was/is very less and this operation has to be completed by mid of October, 2012 to avoid any climatic hurdles.
Keeping in view the sensitivity and scarcity of time, TCP in accordance with PPRA Rules, 2004 invited offers/rates from TCP’s pre-qualified transporters for local transportation of sugar from sugar mills of Punjab/KP to Amangarh, KP on an urgent basis. However, to facilitate our pre-qualified transporters, TCP has also published invitation for offers in press as well.
According to TCP, a very positive reply was received from our pre-qualified transporters, which is evident from the fact that as many as twenty six (26) firms participated and offered their rates on September 06, 2012 on the given day. The sugar has to be delivered to the Tajik government at export point in KP which would have been/is to be lifted by Tajik government and transported to the destination at Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan.
Similarly for direct transportation to Dushanbe, another tender was published and circulated among pre-qualified transporters and was opened on September 11, 2012. Again a very encouraging response was received as more than twenty (20) firms participated. These offers are under consideration in consultation with Tajik side.
TCP said according to PPRA Rules, 2004, and duly permitted by PPRA in another case earlier, if the bids are invited from suppliers/contractors/service providers duly pre-qualified, then not only the condition of response time would not apply but the bids can also be invited without making an advertisement in the print media.
Since, bids in both transportation tenders were invited from the pre-qualified transporters on TCP’s panel for which as per PPRA rules issuance of the tenders in the press was/is not necessary, even then TCP advertised the same in the press in order to ensure widest participation and competition. In view of the above, no violation of PPRA Rules has been made by TCP and a reply has also been sent to PPRA accordingly, it concluded.