Second-hand BMWs ‘most viable’ option

  • saarc summit shopping
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
Second-hand BMWs ‘most viable’ option

Aug 26, 2014-

German premium carmaker BMW has offered the lowest price bid as the government plans to procure seven high-end bulletproof cars for VVIPs for the forthcoming 18th Saarc Summit.

Though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had approached world’s top four carmakers—Toyata, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and General Motors—for armoured bullet proof vehicles, only BMW and Benz have submitted their price bids.

The ministry had formed a panel led by Joint-secretary Prakash Subedi in order to hold negotiations with the companies and ensure the supplies before the summit is held in November.

According to ministry sources, BMW has offered to provide armoured bulletproof cars for 252,000 euros each. These vehicles were used in London Olympics for a brief period. Some of them have plied just 1,200 km while the maximum use is 5,000 km.

It takes manufacturers at least seven months to armour such vehicles. The recommendation to buy BMW as the lowest bidder will be forwarded to the Cabinet for final decision.

Another company, Mercedes has offered a car for 500,000 euros and promised delivery within 45 days of agreement. These offers exclude local tax and other liabilities, said officials.

It will take more than two months for completing the purchase order and other paper works, and signing agreements, making BMW the only feasible option.

“We have approached the companies directly and the negotiations are not through middle men,” said an official privy to the developments.

The trouble now is that the carmaker requires full down payment while the procurement law mandates payments only after the delivery of goods. It would be easier for the government to buy through a Letter of Credit and pay later. The process also requires retention fund and it goes against the government’s policy.

If the Cabinet rejects the proposal to buy second-hand BMW cars, officials say the last resort would be to ask the visiting heads of state or government to bring their own vehicles.

The Foreign Ministry prefers BMWs for security reasons. It is also a brand used by many heads of state. The Finance Ministry, however, wants to procure Mercedes, arguing that the cars offer an easy ride, that several models of Benz cars ply the Kathmandu streets and that old kits are available in case of any damage or technical glitches.

The Cabinet has eased the procurement process for this specific purpose.

Published: 27-08-2014 10:14

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