Move to stop malpractice
The cabinet yesterday approved in principle a proposed law, with a provision prohibiting bidders from quoting a price 10 percent lower or higher than the official estimated price of a public procurement tender.
Another provision of the proposed Public Procurement (4th Amendment) Act-2016 stipulates that a tender would be deemed as cancelled if any bidder quotes a price more than 10 percent lower or higher than the estimated price.
Currently, there is no limit on quoting prices. This allows contractors to quote a low price at their whims to win a tender which adversely affects the quality of goods or work. The amendment is aimed at improving the quality of work and curbing corruption.
Another provision of the amendment seeks to increase the ceiling of the estimated price of a “limited tender” from Tk 2 crore to Tk 3 crore. It would allow the government agencies or departments to award their listed contractors any tender amounting up to Tk 3 crore.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the amendments to the Public Procurement Act (PPA) have been brought to control the bidders' tendency to quote abnormally low or high prices of tenders.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Bangladesh lauded the cabinet decision saying it would help reduce irregularities in public procurement.
“There have been widespread irregularities in public procurement. If a 10 percent limit is set in this regard, chances would be created to curb irregularities to a certain extent,” TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman told The Daily Star.
He said other factors contributing to the irregularities needs to be looked at to ensure transparency and accountability in public procurements.
The cabinet also approved in principle the draft of Civil Aviation Act-2016, keeping provisions for appointing a security official in each flight and imposing fine and punishment on any foreign aircraft for violating Bangladesh's airspace.
The proposed law would replace the existing Civil Aviation Ordinance-1960. The draft has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization, said the cabinet secretary.
Alam said there is a provision in the law to provide assistance to the plane accident victims and their family members.
If any foreign aircraft violates Bangladesh's airspace, the offenders would have to face three to seven years' imprisonment and a fine of up to Tk 2 crore.
In case of flying any aircraft recklessly, the pilots concerned would have to face a maximum five years' imprisonment and a fine of up to Tk 1 crore, he added.
The cabinet secretary said the proposed law would ensure flight safety oversight. Besides, it has stated the responsibilities of flight operators.
The cabinet gave the final approval to the draft of Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council Act-2016, with a provision for setting up of a 24-member council to give registration to the nursing, midwifery and related professionals.
As per the draft law, nurses and midwives will have to be registered with the council.
If anyone takes up nursing or midwifery as profession without valid registration, he/she will face a maximum three years' imprisonment or a maximum fine of Tk 1 lakh or both. If anyone in the professions is found using false designation, he/she will face a maximum one-year imprisonment or a maximum fine of Tk 50,000, mentioned Alam.