Drawn up in line with international best practices, the new GTPL will work for the benefit of both local and foreign contractors by providing more transparency in tendering and procurement procedures -- such as the submission and opening of proposals -- through the unified portal called Etimad.
The new GTPL will also enhance integrity and competition by preventing the impact of personal interests, thereby protecting public funds and giving fair and equal treatment to all bidders, while in the process fulfilling one of the Ministry of Finance's (MoF) main objectives.
Support for local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) listed on the stock market is another positive element of the GTPL. SMEs will be given priority over larger competition and exempted from providing an initial guarantee in lieu of being asked to present a letter of commitment.
However, Royal Decree No.101 is now in force and provides a very important first step -- even if this is limited only to addressing the GTPL.
The Manual is a decisive and welcome step to break away from the GTPL "straightjacket" which will obviate the need for enabling decrees for these projects.
The well-understood procedural steps in the GTPL for managing receipt of bids are largely replicated and amplified/adjusted as necessary.
Firstly, under the proposed changes to the GTPL, a strategic procurement unit will be created.
GTPL has always allowed for the procuring entity to evaluate bids without necessarily appointing the lowest bidder.
Previously, GTPL was not applicable to projects procured by the likes of Saudi Aramco, SABIC, and the Public Investment Fund.
GTPL has been playing an active role in digital initiatives such as Smart Cities and now we have won this project under Digital India Initiatives.
GTPL will create an infrastructure network that will provide broadband connectivity to 3,767 gram panchayats across Saurashtra region, with each Gram Panchayat connected with 1 Gbps with additional 12 core fibre for future capacity build up and possibility of further monetisation.