The Bill provides for the tribunal to deal with disputes in the public contracts exceeding Rs 5 crore.
To streamline the institutional mechanism for resolution of disputes arising from public contracts, including public-private-partnership projects, the government on Thursday released a draft Bill to set up a tribunal for public contracts.
The Bill provides for the tribunal to deal with disputes in the public contracts exceeding Rs 5 crore. It would deal with disputes relating to execution of contract, specific performance of the terms of the contract, termination, cancellation, repudiation and claims for damages for breach of contract.
The tribunal has to conduct day-today hearings and give final order within 180 days from the date of the application. Similarly, an arbitral tribunal would be required to announce its arbitral award within 120 days of referring the dispute to it. The tribunal’s order will be binding on all parties and can be challenged only in the Supreme Court.
The Bill is part of the government’s initiative to unclog stalled projects that were holding back investments worth several trillion rupees and discouraging investors. The government has envisaged $1 trillion investment in infrastructure in five years through FY17.
Comments on the draft of Public Contracts (Resolution of Disputes) Bill, 2015, can be made by June 30.
Acknowledging that disputes in public contracts are costly and takes a long process to resolve, finance minister Arun Jaitley had proposed the Bill in the Budget. According to the draft Bill, the government would constitute the tribunal for public contracts with principal seat in New Delhi and benches in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.