'Time Coimbatore MSMEs bid for NLC tenders'

R Yegya Narayanan Coimbatore | Updated on November 27, 2014

Despite the presence of a large number of engineering industries, it was a surprise that no entrepreneur from Coimbatore was bidding for the procurement of castings by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), according to N Ilamparuthi, Executive Director, SME & Conveyor/Mines, NLC.

He advised the MSMEs here to gain expertise in e-tendering as this was becoming the norm and overcome their hesitation in participating in e-tenders floated by large central PSUs (CPSUs).

Inaugurating the MSME Expo 2014 National Vendor Development Programme, jointly organised by the Coimbatore District Small Industries’ Association (Codissia) and the MSME Development Institute, Coimbatore branch, here on Thursday, he said his corporation was procuring around Rs 7 crore worth of castings annually, but there was no supplier from Coimbatore despite the city being an engineering hub.

He said the reason adduced by the producers here for non-participation in the tendering process was that they could not supply at the quoted price as it was `low’. Posing the question as to how a supplier from the North was able to do so despite the high transportation cost, he said the `million dollar question’ was why the Coimbatore manufacturers could not match the price despite the relative proximity of the city to Neyveli.

Ilamparuthi said `Neyveli (Lignite Corporation) was willing to give opportunities’ and is ready to give trial orders to manufacturers here. Pointing out that the order to CPSUs to purchase 20 per cent of their requirements from MSMEs would become mandatory from April 1 next year, he said from 2016 April penalty will be levied for non-compliance. This was how the Government was supporting the MSMEs, he said.

The NLC ED said there was a central procurement portal and advised the entrepreneurs here to familiarise themselves with the latest procurement practices. With a view to ensuring a transparent purchase mechanism, the CPSUs would have to adopt e-procurement or e-tendering and the manufacturers must become adept in using them.

He said NLC had simplified the registration of vendors, which could be done online. The NLC purchase department procured around Rs 500 crore worth of materials annually, excluding furnace oil worth Rs 200 crore. For the size of a one-day transaction of SSIs in Coimbatore, estimated to be worth Rs 350 crore a day, the annual purchase of NLC may not be high. But it was not a meagre amount either, he said, and urged the manufacturers here to participate in the tenders. More the vendors, more the competition and NLC was happy about it, he said and suggested that Codissia promote a design centre.

Ilamparuthi said while there were procedures such as Earnest Money Deposit or Late Delivery (LD) clauses to safeguard the interests of institutions calling for tenders, once the manufacturers get accustomed to them, `things will be alright’. In line with Govt guidelines, NLC was going for 100 per cent e-procurement and was also ordering materials on lifecycle basis. With spare parts supply also becoming the responsibility of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), the parts manufacturers will have to look at supplying the OEMs directly.

S Sivagnanam, Additional Industrial Advisor, Office of the Development Commissioner (MSME), New Delhi, said the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) has come out with a scheme on `Enhancement of Competitiveness in the Indian Capital Goods Sector’ which he urged the MSMEs here to fully utilise the same.

R Panneerselvam, Principal Director, MSME- Technology Development Centre, Agra, said his institution focused on promoting and supporting foundries, forging and engineering industries and would shortly be opening a centre in Coimbatore at an outlay of about Rs 4 crore. With a view to catering to the requirements of a huge number of small foundries in the region, the centre would open an e-foundry lab here in association with Coimbatore Industrial Infrastructure Association (Coindia), Coimbatore Tiny and Small Foundry Owners Association (COSMAFAN) and Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF).

E K Ponnuswamy, President, Codissia, and M Palanivel, Deputy Director, MSME, Coimbatore, also spoke.

Published on November 27, 2014

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