Indian Railways have decided to start online tendering of all contracts related to civil works within a month’s time, to prevent corruption.
The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, had said that the online system would ensure transparency in awarding civil contracts.
“The tendering system going digital, it will prevent crime and corruption,” he added.
For this, Sinha has appointed a member (engineering) V K Gupta to put the system in place.
It has been seen that the current system of tendering, which is opaque, has given rise to nepotism, corruption and crime. In practice, the local mafia pays around 23-25 percent of the cost of the contract and then sub-contract it to companies.
Zonal railways award civil contracts worth around Rs 30,000-40,000 crore every year. The online tendering system will also open doors to pan-India companies and can help in breaking the local politician-criminal nexus.
However, the move was met with stiff resistance. But the railways is determined to weed out corruption.
Earlier, the Railway minister Suresh Prabhu had said, “By the end of this year, or earliest, in the early part of next year, everything will be on the internet. All contracts will be on e-tendering platform.”
The ministry also recently launched e-governance platform to check and track maintenance and inspection.
“IT-enabled systems will ensure transparency and accountability and will also check time and cost overruns.”
In addition, a one-man committee has also been appointed to suggest a set of procedures to be followed in tendering processes. It concluded that decentralization of the system and accountability could help in the economy.