Purchases for summit fast-tracked

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
Purchases for summit fast-tracked

Jul 8, 2014-

The government has decided to fast-track procurements for the upcoming Saarc Summit citing time constraints.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday endorsed guidelines that any purchase related to the 18th Saarc Summit would be made without following the regular procurement process, which requires deals above Rs 1 million to be made through a bidding process.

“As the date approaches, we are pressed to purchase armoured and ordinary vehicles, computers and other electronic goods as well as materials for repair,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

Besides the cost of road construction and repair, vehicle purchase and renovation, several government agencies have a shopping list of over Rs 1 billion. The guidelines, however, seek financial discipline, transparency and cost effectiveness.

Immediate agendas are procurement of seven armoured bulletproof cars, another three dozen vehicles, vans and micro buses, and renovation and maintenance of City Hall on Pradarshani Marg, Gallery Hall in Singha Durbar and the Basantapur Durbar Square.

Nepal has proposed to host the Saarc Summit at City Hall from November 21-27. Except Afghanistan, all other six Saarc member states have given written confirmation of their participation in the summit. Although Afghanistan has pledged its participation, it is yet to confirm the same due to periodic elections taking place in that country around the date.

“We’ve got a lot to do in the remaining four months. It is impossible to follow the standard process involving bids solicitation, selecting them and awarding the contract. It takes more than six months to follow the Procurement Act rules,” he said.

Minister Pandey, who endorsed the renovation design of City Hall prepared by a team of architects, on Tuesday said the existing sitting arrangement will be changed, two new halls constructed and the parking space will be extended.

Following budget presentation in Parliament, the government is said to focus on the summit preparations. The Kathmandu Metropolitan City will stop renting the venue out for programmes after July 31.

Published: 09-07-2014 07:56

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