BNP opposes amendment of 4(g) clause of KTPP Act
Bengaluru Navanirmana Party (BNP) has raised an objection to the lack of transparency in the tender process saying that the 4(g) clause in the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTPP Act) is being wilfully misread to provide undue advantage to Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL).
Bengaluru: Bengaluru Navanirmana Party (BNP) has raised an objection to the lack of transparency in the tender process saying that the 4(g) clause in the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTPP Act) is being wilfully misread to provide undue advantage to Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL).
"While collating data for our 'Citizen Portal for Transparency', we noticed that most of the tenders are being given to KRIDL. Almost 50 per cent of the projects are being given to them without a public tender" said Rishvanjas Rishi Raghavan, Youth Wing President, BNP.
The party further alleged that KRIDL is further sub-letting their contract to other contractors in return for a 5-15 per cent commission on these projects.
BNP has alleged that the 4(g) clause of the KTPP Act exempts the call for a public tender in the event of a natural calamity. But after a PIL was filed before the High Court opposing this move, the High Court quashed the exemptions being given to KRIDL by that state government. Later the KTPP (Amendment) Act was passed in March 2021 to give permanent exemption to grant KRIDL all projects less than Rs 2 crores without the need to call for public tender. This further allows KRIDL to sublet the contract in case the need arises provided a public tender is raised.
"The amendment completely violates all requirements of transparency and equal opportunity in public procurement. The clause has been completely abused to give blanket exemptions to KRIDL to execute all types of projects including roads, drains, cameras, lights, etc," said BNP in a press release. As per BNP's analysis of projects undertaken within BBMP limits across the 198 wards over the period of 5 years (2015-2020), a total of 28,314 projects have been executed with a total value of Rs. 10,018 crore. Among these 50 per cent of the projects amounting to Rs 4721 crore were given to KRIDL without a tendering process. They further alleged that often big projects exceeding Rs 2 crore are broken down and given to multiple contractors to avoid violation of the Act.
BNP believes that this lack of transparency in the tender process and KRIDL is at the root of all the problems in Bengaluru."We want to know what is the competency of KRIDL for the majority of projects to be given to them. If KRIDL was so efficient, we question why they are outsourcing their projects" said Srikanth Narasimhan, Founder and General Secretary, BNP. The party further noted that KRIDL was constituted for rural development and has no place in a city like Bengaluru.
"For projects to be executed with transparency and quality, the basic fundamental is to have a public tender process. By amending the 4(g) clause the government has given a free hand to anyone who wants to give projects to KRIDL without a tendering process. Without a tender process, the project costing and prices get completely bloated up and there is no space for accountability after that" said Srikanth. "They passed this amendment without any public notice but now that it is passed, we are going to oppose this Act that violates the fundamental principles of governance" he added.