Plan panel revises pre-qualification norms for infrastructure projects

New Delhi, Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 07:36am hrs
Sources said the agreement was aimed at streamlining the process for infrastructure projects in all sectors.

As part of the process, before inviting bids for any project, the candidates will be judged on the criteria of their technical qualification as well as experience in handling such projects.

While technical qualifications will include the capacity of the company to handle projects they bid for, experience-based criteria will include the number of similar projects the company has handled as well as the number of years it has been in the field.

The document is being drawn up on the lines of the model concession agreement for construction of national highways. To participate in the bidding process, the short listed bidders will have to sign the agreement and abide by its clauses.

Explaining the reasons for the document, an official said, We decided to come up with such a document due to the problems we have been facing with contractors, especially in the highways sector.

According to the sources, the document has been drawn up in consultation with all related ministries. The Plan panel is now giving final touches to it. It will be put up before the Committee on Infrastructure, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in its next meeting.

With the government trying to promote as many projects in key infrastructure sectors of highways, ports, airports, power and railways through the public-private partnership (PPP) route, the document is likely to have a major impact on the process.

However, industry sources are of the opinion that the paper would help big companies bag the contracts. Many feel that relatively smaller or newer companies might not be selected due to lack of experience.