The Railways on Sunday said the tender for 44 Vande Bharat train sets was cancelled to maintain transparency as some bidders had revealed financial details of their offer even before clearing the technical evaluation.
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“While evaluating the technical bids, the tender committee noticed that some of the details of the financial offer have been wrongly revealed…Financial bids of only those bidders are opened who qualify in the technical bids,” Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said.
He said to have complete transparency, while evaluating the technical bids, financial bids are not available to the tender evaluation committee to enable “evaluation purely on technical conditions”.
“This practice is followed worldwide… the tenderers are given standard instructions for this system [two-packet system]…we have finalised a number of tenders based on this system… There are at least seven paragraphs where it has been clearly mentioned that technical bids should not have any details of the financial offer…I don’t know how, but some of the bidders have made a mistake,” the Chairman said.
Hence, the tender committee recommended to invite fresh tenders. The Tender Accepting Authority, the ICF general manager, accepted it and fresh tenders will be invited within a week, he said.
Increase in indigenous content
Mr. Yadav said as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, an increase in the indigenous content from the present 50% is being examined.
“The fresh tender will have provision to manufacture Vande Bharat train set at all the three production units of the Railways — ICF, MCF & RCF. The timeline for manufacturing them will be compressed.”
The Railways had earlier this week announced cancellation of the tender. While a specific reason was not given, an official statement had said fresh tender will be floated within a week as per the Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order. This gave rise to speculation that the presence of CRRC Pioneer Electric, in which China’s CRRC is a joint partner, among the six bidders could be one of the reasons, especially due to renewed focus of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.