The Indian Defense Ministry will set up an “end to end” e-procurement platform for all future sales, according to the Indian Express.
Any procurement costing over $1 million will be sources through the new platform as of June 6. This limit is set to be made even tighter at $500, 000 from April 1, 2015, the report added.
The report notes that “necessary instructions in this regard may kindly be issued for strict compliance of e-procurement by all organizations offices under the Ministry of Defence”.
Orders for high-value items including armaments will also move on this platform, which in turn will be visible to all potential suppliers, the report said.
The e-platform, eprocurement.gov.in
, will allow a manufacturer from any part of India can now track the demands and apply in response to tenders — a change from when tenders were often managed by those with contacts.
Savitur Prasad, Principal Integrated Financial Adviser in the ministry, told the Indian Express that, till now, departments were required to only put up their tender notices on the portal. “But from now, tendering for any item required by the ministry will have to be processed online, right from placing of the orders to issuing of compliance certificates.”
Meanwhile, the report added that the IT Department, aware of the scale of the defence purchases, has assured that the government machinery will not be a bottleneck. The additional secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, promised “all possible support in this regard”, in a letter to Defence Secretary R K Mathur.
The proposal has been reportedly delayed “due to a number of mid-stream issues”.
On Friday last week, the order to move to an IT platform immediately was issued after a meeting of senior Defence Ministry officials, including those from the armed services and from the Department of Information Technology. The Navy and Air Force had earlier raised objections that such a mechanism would make India’s defence preparedness too transparent, but the ministry officials were able to point out that international and even domestic purchases were in any case tracked by concerned entities and the e-procurement platform will make no difference, the report concluded.