The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is in a fix as the lowest bidder – M/s Toepfer International has refused to supply 50,000 tons of urea. Sources told Business Recorder on Monday that delay in awarding the tender by the TCP is the primary reason forcing the lowest bidder to refuse urea supply.
The supplier is unable to accept the award, which the TCP made after the bid period expired. With the refusal the urea import deal between the state-run grain trader and M/s Toepfer International has lapsed, they added. According to the urea import tender’s terms and conditions, the bids validity period was just one day. Whereas, the TCP had awarded 50,000 tons of urea import contract to M/s Toepfer International on the third day of the tender opening, they added.
The urea import tender was opened on June 5, 2013 and the TCP sent award letter (TCP/imp/urea/13-4(I)/2013) to M/s Pacific Exim – the local agent of M/s Toepfer International on June 7, 2013 at about 10.30 pm, when the bid validity was already expired.
In response to the TCP’s contract award letter, the local agent on behalf of principal on Monday officially regretted to supply 50,000 tons of urea at $335 per ton due to delay in award of contract, sources said. Earlier on Friday, after receiving contract award letter, the local agent had asked the TCP to wait till Monday as Gulf market was closed on Friday, while the European markets observe off on Saturday and Sunday, therefore it was unable to approach its supplier and producer.
Referring to the TCP’s award letter, M/s Pacific Exim Pvt Ltd in its letter said that our principal (M/s Toepfer International) is not in a position to accept the award as it was made on expired bid. After knowing that the contract has been awarded to the second lowest, the principal had disposed off the cargo to alternate destination, it added.
Sources said the TCP has also sent a copy of the regret letter to the ministry of commerce as the contract was awarded after the intervention of the ministry, which took strict notice of irregularity in urea import tender and officially asked for the award of contract to first lowest bidder, which was earlier declared non-responsive by the TCP.
This will result in delay in import of urea as despite one week the TCP is unable to finalise the deal for import of 50,000 tons of urea, they added. Following the directives of the Economic Co-ordination Committee of the Cabinet, the TCP is engaged in the import of urea for domestic consumption to avoid any shortage during Kharif season. Sources said that now the TCP is in a fix and considering re-tendering this quantity as it has already cancelled the deal with second lowest bidder and at the same time the first lowest bidder has also regretted to supply urea.