Shimla: The government has cancelled an tender for supply of CFL bulbs as it found fault with the process and decided to re-tender it. The bulbs are to be bought for the Atal Bijli Bachat Yogna under which the government intends to supply about 16 lakh households 4 CFL lamps free to achieve saving of energy.
Chief secretary Asha Swaroop who had conducted an inquiry into the tender process said, “considering all the facts that have come to light we have decided to re-tender the contract for supply of CFL bulbs.”
The government has budgeted Rs 80 crore for the scheme and it is targeted to be completed by 25th December, which also happens to be former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s birthday after whom it is named.
Swaroop said, “The tender had to be canceled because it emerged that some suppliers had formed a cartel and pooled rates which did not lead to a correct price discovery.”
The companies who had bid for the big supply order included Asian Electronics, Surya Bulbs, Havalis, Phenoix, APL Sokomak and others.
Bungling in the tendering process notwithstanding, the chief secretary asserted, “the scheme will be completed on time.
“A new tender will be put out soon and we have lowered the supply requirement to 35 percent so that more people may compete and the price discovery process is a transparent one,” she disclosed.
The whole tender process was bogged in controversy after it was found that four companies had formed a cartel and pooled rates to keep out others. The scheme that was to be launched on Independence Day got delayed and the chief secretary stepped in to conduct an inquiry.
The power secretary, who held additional charge as chairman of the HP State Electricity Board (HPSEB), rescued himself from the board duties to steer clear of the controversy.
Another casualty to the botched up contract process, a chief engineer of HPSEB associated with the tendering process stands transferred, board sources confirmed without the reasons for it.