The government has constituted a five-member committee to oversee implementation of a new policy under which preference will be given to local goods and services in public procurement. The policy, which aims to generate employment and promote Make in India initiative, was approved by the Union Cabinet last month. The standing committee will be chaired by the secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The other members will be from ministries of commerce, electronics and IT, the Department of Expenditure and the DIPP.
In an order to all the central ministries, departments, central public units, the commerce and industry ministry said the committee will “oversee the implementation” of the Public Procurement (preference to Make in India) Order, 2017. It would also make recommendations to nodal ministries and procuring entities, besides annually assessing and periodically monitoring compliance. The committee “may assess issues, if any, where it is felt that the manner of implementation of the order results in any restrictive practices, cartelisation or increase in public expenditure and suggest remedial measures”.
It will meet “as often as necessary but not less than once in six months”. As per this order, purchase preference will be given to local suppliers in all procurements. Local suppliers are those whose goods or services meet prescribed minimum thresholds — usually 50 per cent — for local content, which is essentially domestic value addition.
“… where the estimated value of procurement is Rs 50 lakh or less, only local suppliers shall be eligible,” it said. However, for procurements valued above Rs 50 lakh, a detailed method has been prescribed under which local supplier will be given an opportunity to match the lowest bid. The government purchases run into thousands of crores of rupees.