Amend KTPP Act to prevent misuse, demand activists

Amend KTPP Act to prevent misuse, demand activists

Incomplete definition of ‘emergency procurement’ has allowed some departments to obtain goods without any immediate requirement, one activist said

Representative image. Credit: iStock Images

The nature of 4(G) exemptions provided by the government over the past few years has irked anti-graft activists, who have sought an amendment to Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act so as to have a clear definition for “emergency procurement.”

They also allege that some exemptions under 4G was clearly to benefit contractors affiliated to politicians - as in the case of KRIDL and Nirmiti Centres.

Speaking to DH, High Court advocate Venkatesh Dalwai said that a lacuna in the law allowed officials and the government to procure goods and services under 4(G) exemption. “There is no definition in KTPP Act for ‘emergency procurement’. The government should enact an amendment to indicate the subjects for which 4(G) exemption can be granted,” he said.

Incomplete definition of ‘emergency procurement’ has allowed some departments to obtain goods without any immediate requirement, he said. On whether construction of three-star hotels or procuring new vehicles fell under the provisions of the Act, he answered in the negative.

Activist Anilkumar G R said that many exemptions were granted using the discretion of the state Cabinet to help politicians. “4(G) exemption itself should be removed from KTPP Act as it is being used for everything. Exemptions during emergencies such as floods or the pandemic is understandable. But, what is the need for 4(G) exemption to clean drains or de-silt storm water drains?” he wanted to know.

Another activist, under the condition of anonymity, said that though there were several complaints about the misuse of 4(G) exemption, successive governments had done little to address them.

“Officials and politicians can come up with hundreds of reasons to justify ‘emergencies’, even though there won’t be any. What is the emergency for beautifying a road or providing exemptions to KRIDL and Nirmiti centres? In many cases, exemptions are provided to benefit those affiliated to a party or politician,” the activist added.

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