Govt procurement set to get more transparent

Centre to come up with national competition policy and law on procurement


Deevakar Anand | December 9, 2010

The government is deliberating the formulation of a comprehensive national competition policy so that the businesses across the sectors could be deterred from indulging into unfair competition practices, which they apparently do to cope with the present day cutthroat rivalries and to earn higher profits.

Corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid speaking at a competition commission of India (CCI) organized conference also informed that the government is seriously working on bringing in a procurement law to enforce effective and transparent procurement practices. The minister emphasised that a pre-audit system to check in advance unfair practices involved in purchasing was needed.

Once into effect such a policy on competition and a law on procurement are expected to boost fair play in the market and transparency into government purchases.

Speaking on the occasion, CCI chairman Dhanendra Kumar underlined the occurrence of large volume of procurements by public sector units (PSUs) owing to increase in their purchasing powers. He spoke well of CCI’s role in checking unfair procurement procedures because of its powers to look into it ex – ante, i.e. prior to the purchase or procurement unlike what the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) or the central vigilance commission (CVC) does. The CAG and CVC get involved ex-post, i.e. after the procurements are made. Highlighting CCI’s sanitizing programmes for the PSUs and corporates, Kumar said the competition watchdog had been consistently receiving complaints from across sectors which it has been effectively looking into without any prejudices.

Emphasis was also laid down on the utilization of the information technology tools for analyzing the public procurement behavior and for detection of bid rigging to devise methods to streamline the practice.






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