Odisha Blocks Bidders from Certain Countries following Centre’s advisory

The Odisha government has amended the Odisha General Financial Rules to block tender applications from certain countries sharing a land border with India, taking a cue out of the Centre’s book. State Finance Secretary AK Meena issued the revised circular to incorporate the amendments made on grounds of ‘national security’.

The Centre’s decision to amend the General Financial Rules in a bid to block Chinese companies from participating in government tenders comes amidst the backdrop of increasing border tensions. China’s aggressive moves on the Eastern Ladakh sector has prompted calls of boycott against Chinese firms operating in the country. The revised rules in the Odisha circular reflect the same sentiments.

“The Centre has directed all the states to implement its order as per provisions of Article 257 (1) of the Constitution of India. Hence, the state government has amended the rules regarding procurement made by the state government, state PSUs, local bodies and all government agencies. The order will also be applicable to procurement with respect to public-private partnership projects,” said a senior finance department official.

As per the fresh order, any company operating out of a country that shares a land border with India shall only be eligible for the bidding process if they are duly registered with the competent authority. At the state level, the competent authority will be a committee set up by the MSME Department. This committee shall be headed by an officer, not below the rank of additional secretary. In case applications from companies are received operating out of a hostile country, security and political clearances will be obtained first from the Union Government before proceeding further, the circular clarified.

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