TEMA writes to Tamil Nadu govt to call off OFC bid, re-float anew

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

Charges that current tender norms ‘favoured’ a few firms

Following up on earlier representations made by individual firms on eligibility conditions of an optical fibre cable (OFC) tender floated by the Tamil Nadu government, the Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEMA) has now written to the State government urging it to re-float a new one.

In a letter addressed to the Managing Director, Tamil Nadu FibreNet Corporation Ltd (TANFINET), a Tamil Nadu government undertaking, NK Goyal, TEMA Chairman-Emeritus said the tender should include preferential market access (PMA) and MSME clauses.

“The current tender eligibility conditions ensure no MSME bidder will qualify, whereas at least one MSME bidder — PWCL — has supplied one of the biggest quantities of cables to BharatNet projects and has infrastructure assessment and TSEC for each of the tendered optical fiber cable (OFC),” Goyal has written.

The companies and TEMA have also written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to cancel the tender following allegations of corruption.

The tender was floated in December and the last date for bid submission is June 12.

TEMA said that based on the eligibility conditions of the tender, only two-three manufacturers can supply the cable whereas more than 15-20 eligible bidders will not be able to participate, which could result in project slippages and price escalations due to limited participation.

“Therefore, we request that to get the best prices, the tender should be dropped and re-floated with revised tender eligibility conditions,” the TEMA added in the letter.

Some of the TEMA members who had written against the restrictive tender conditions earlier, in their individual capacities, include Finolex, Polycab, Paramount Wires & Cables, Apar Industry and West Coast Optilinks.

The companies alleged that the supply experience in the tender has been so fabricated that only ‘favoured players’ can enter into that eligibility category.

“Crisp of this favour is in the clause of the corrigendum, where it is asking the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bidder to only procure OFC from the favoured OFC manufacturer,” they said.

A query to TANFINET MD did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on June 10, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor