‘Procurement related laws should be amended timely’

Kathmandu: Experts and youth leaders have stressed effective implementation of the Public Procurement Act for expediting construction works in the country.

Expressing concerns that performance of major infrastructure projects has been unsatisfactory because of higher cost and long implementation period, experts emphasised on proper implementation of the legal system.

Addressing a discussion programme titled ‘Policy Round Table on Transport Infrastructure’, former minister and leader of Nepali Congress Gagan Thapa said awarding a contract to the lowest bidder is a major problem as it can result in compromise in quality. Thapa also added that this tendency should be corrected through amendment of rules and regulations.

“We need to take action against the ill-practice of low bidding. The rules and laws should be amended timely to ensure the quality of works and that the projects are completed within the set deadline,” Thapa said.

Thapa also stressed on coordination among different government offices while undertaking development projects. “Roads in urban areas are being expanded, but there is no coordination among the concerned authorities,” he said.

Similarly, CPN UML leader Rabindra Adhikari stated that the carrot and stick system

of rewarding and punishing the contractors should be implemented properly to complete the projects within the set deadline.

“The government mechanism has been ineffective in implementing rules and regulations. So, the contractors are not working according to the requirements set on the contract paper,” Adhikari said.

He also stated that contractors are directly interfering with the government’s system to formulate the laws as per their own interest. Adhikari also said most contractors are not completing the projects within the set deadline because they can make higher profits by delaying projects.

Meanwhile, Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Devendra Karki, informed that project implementation is being affected due to lack of coordination between the government agencies. “The government could form a sole authority to implement development projects, which could ease this problem.”

Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission Swarnim Wagle and former finance secretary Rameshore Khanal stated that the government should amend the procurement rules timely to address the problems related to construction process. Similarly, they also emphasised on effective implementation of reward and punishment polices to the contractors.