Cabinet grants PPRA exemption ‘in national interest’


ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has exempted 0.5 million tons of sugar from Rule 21 of the PPRA Ordinance 2002 to be imported by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) 'in the national interest', official sources told Business Recorder.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had accorded approval to TCP for the import of white sugar up to 500,000 M. Tons, as per the demand conveyed by provinces, AJK, GB, ICT and Utility Stores Corporation.

The Ministry of Industries and Production, in its letter of January 22, 2021, while referring to TCP's letter of January 20, 2021, had requested the PPRA Authority to grant exemption from applicability of Rule-13 regarding response time, Rule-35 regarding the minimum time period between announcement of evaluation report and award of contract, in addition to the permission for negotiations with other bidders requiring them to match their prices with the prices quoted by the most advantageous (i.e. lowest evaluated) bidder, for the procurement of 0.5 MMT sugar.

The 46th Meeting of PPRA Board the Board considered the matter of the timely import of sugar and allied savings of money, as of national interest, and directed PPRA Management to convey the recommendations to the Federal Cabinet as follows: (i) TCP may be granted exemption under section-21 of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002 from applicability of Rules 13 & 35 of Public Procurement Rules2004, for the procurement of 0.5 MMT sugar through TCP, to the extent of relaxing the duration of response time and period between the announcement of evaluation report and award of contract to the successful bidder, subject to the condition that fair and reasonable opportunity shall be provided to ensure healthy competition amongst the potential bidders and to ensure the redressal of grievance of the aggrieved bidders, if any and; (ii) TCP may also be granted exemption from applicability of Rules 38 and 40 of the Public Procurement Rules-2004, to the extent of negotiations to match the prices of the other bidders with the price of most advantageous (i.e. lowest evaluated) bidder, in case required quantity could not be managed by the most advantageous bidder.

Section 21 of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002 stipulates that "the Authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, recommend to the Federal Government that the procurement of an object or class of objects in the national interest be exempted from the operation of this Ordinance or any rule or regulation made thereunder or any other law regulating public procurement and the Federal Government on such recommendations shall exempt the aforesaid objects or class of objects from the operation of the laws and rules and regulations made thereunder".

After explaining the entire case, the Cabinet Division proposed that the Federal Government may grant exemption to Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) for the procurement of 0.5 MMT sugar, being the matter of national interest, by relaxing Rules 13, 35, 38 and 40 of Public Procurement Rules, 2004 subject to the prescribed conditions.