SRINAGAR: The Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has decried the government procurement policy that not only discouraged and sidelined the local industrial manufacturers but also resulted in substantial deficit in Jammu and Kashmir’s balance of trade with increased imports.

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After a meeting with a delegation of Kashmir Electrical Manufacturers Association (KEMA), as per a statement, the Advisory Committee FCIK expressed regrets that despite repeated requests, the authorities were yet to take steps in the direction of restoring marketing support to MSMEs to get these relieved from growing joblessness.

While bringing the plight electric equipment manufacturers to the attention of FCIK, President KEMA, Raja Nayeem Ahmad Khan said that 150 such units faced marketing problems after adoption of General Financial Rules (GFR) by the government in 2019 which put local units with slew of disadvantages in direct competition with manufacturers of entire country on Government e-marketplace (GeM) portal.

He informed that Power Development Department had also switched over to turn-key system of executions after disbanding store procurement which had resulted in ouster of local manufacturers from schemes and programmes currently being executed by them.

According to Nayeem, the central government last year sanctioned Rs 5200 Crores under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) for J&K to improve power infrastructure including 33KV and 11KV stations/HT/LTs and other equipment after subsuming many other central schemes with an objective to reduce power losses and ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers.

He said that disconcerting qualification criteria put by PDD in tenders excluded local units from the competition process and favoured outsiders.

Exemplifying his remarks, Raja said that one of the scores of works taken up by department for execution happened to be augmentation of the existing power infrastructure in industrial estate Sanat Nagar which understandably stands allotted to Telangana based company M/s Gopi Krishna Electricals.

“It is shocking to note that all 2 dozen transformers, scores of poles and other equipment installed by the agency have been procured by the contractor from Jharkhand and other states despite the fact that there are about 150 units in J&K engaged in manufacture of these goods” informed Raja adding that 4 transformer manufacturing and 6 pole manufacturing units existed in the estate itself.

Making a startling revelation, Nayeem informed that as against current SICOP approved rate of Rs 330,000 for a 200Kva transformer and Rs 13300 for a 9-metre pole, the government was paying highly exorbitant rates to the agency under the garb of turn-key project which speaks volumes about the flawed procedure adopted by PDD causing huge losses to the public exchequer.

Acknowledging the genuine difficulties of local electrical equipment manufacturers, President FCIK said that both MSMEs and departments had been subjected to countless problems in supply and procurement of goods through GeM portal.

Shahid Kamili informed the delegation from KEMA that after the recent meeting with incumbent Chief Secretary, FCIK was hopeful that marketing support to local MSMEs was restored in one or the other form at the earliest.

He said that the chief secretary was acquainted of importance of developing indigenous manufacturing capabilities and phasing out imports with local productions.



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