Zilla Panchayat tightens eligibility criteria for bidders

Annual turnover for firms must be ` 70 lakh, for short term projects

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has called for short term tenders for various services pertaining to different departments, under Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTPP) Act 1999, for the financial year 2014-15. June 19 is the last date to submit the proposals for the tender.

 However, this time tender process would become a tough nut to crack for agencies, as the ZP has tightened eligibility criteria for tender proposals.

According to sources, in the backdrop of problems faced by the employees by the poor service of agencies, the ZP has decided to take precautionary measures this time. The agencies which win the bid provide service to thousands of government employees including doctors, engineers, accountants, data entry operators, lecturers and other staff. Obviously, the standard service depends on the agency. Many agencies reportedly cheat both the government and the employees. 

Many agencies show lowest service charge during the tender and later don’t pay service tax. Agencies also ask employees to deposit money, but don’t return it. They don’t pay minimum wage in time and some employees don’t get salary for five to six months. Some agencies harass employees even by not giving PF and ESI, which is mandatory as per the law. 

New eligibility criteria 

In the new eligibility criteria, both registration and financial condition of companies has been considered. As per the criteria, the bidder must have a company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act or a firm registered in Karnataka with Competent Authority. It should have an EPF registration and EPF returns filed in the last three financial years. It should have an ESI registration and ESI returns filed in the last three years. The company should have Pan Card, a service tax registration and service tax returns filed in the three financial years. It should also be registered under Professional Tax Act and under labour department. 

New norms say that the company should have the experience in the business (providing man power) of five years and it should have provided service (general) for at least 10 years. In case of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the firm must have provided man power resource for SSA at State or district-level and certificate must be obtained from SSA officials. Speaking to Deccan Herald, SSA District Project Co-ordinator Shivaprakash said that by tightening the rules, the employees may get good service. The agencies which don’t credit salary of an employee to his account within fifth of every month should be blacklisted. 

He opined that the government can start an agency for the purpose. The process should be decentralised and it should be conducted in district-level which would help in implementing projects, as well as in collecting tax. The government will be benefited, he said. He also stressed on recruiting more employees on contract basis as the permanent recruitment gets delay. Contract recruitment also provides employment to thousands of youth, he added. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni said that last year an agency didn’t give PF to the health department employees properly. According to new norms, firms should pay the minimum wage with PF and ESI every month to the employees.

These are short term tenders of one to two years for various projects of zilla panchayat. Last year the panchayat had called tender for teachers for special children, but the response was poor. This time tender will be called again to provide special teachers, she said. 

If any firm does not possess any one of eligibility criteria, the tender proposal will be summarily rejected.

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