Kathmandu, November 13
The Federation of Contractors’ Associations of Nepal (FCAN) has again expressed reservations against some of the provisions in Public Procurement Regulations (eighth amendment)-2019 stating that it unjustly targets local contractors.
Organising a press meet here today, Nicholas Pandey, senior vice-president of FCAN, said that the contractors would take to the streets from November 25 if the government did not address their ‘genuine’ concerns.
According to Pandey, there are discriminatory provisions in the regulations that need to be revised.
As per newly amended regulations, the contractor company will be penalised if any project is not completed on time. However, it has remained silent on the action against concerned government officials and other stakeholders.
“Based on our experience, the prime reason for delay in any project is caused by the government staffers and the lengthy process for approving various documents, not to mention corruption at every level.”
Acknowledging the need to change the rules in a timely manner to ensure quality of works, Pandey added, “But frequently changing any regulation for someone’s vested interests puts domestic contractors at a disadvantage.”
Stating that timely completion of any project also depends on cooperation and coordination among other concerned stakeholders, like government officials, engineers and locals, Pandey added that the regulations has largely ignored this fact and needs to be amended.
FCAN has also claimed that in altering the procurement regulations, the government has given undue advantage to foreign contractors in the tender process.
Pandey also expressed alarm that the new regulations curb the opportunities for domestic contractors as various mega projects are being launched across the country.
Moreover, Bishnubhai Shrestha, immediate past president of FCAN, alleged that the banks and financial institutions seek commission of up to 1.4 per cent of bid amount from the contractors for preparing bank guarantee documents.
Although the federation has threatened to protest if their demands are not met, Pandey said FCAN is open to sorting out the disputes through dialogue.
A version of this article appears in print on November 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.