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After Deadline Extension, BMC’s Vaccine Tender Receives Interest

The deadline to submit the bids was moved from 18 May to 25 May.

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After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) extended the deadline for the submission of vaccine bids by one week, three distributors of Russia’s Sputnik V have expressed their interest in BMC’s global tender for procurement of 1 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Of these, two are Hyderabad-based firms, and another one is a facilitator from the United Kingdom. However, their proposals are incomplete and the BMC has asked for more documentation. Officials have refused to reveal the names of the firms.

Extension of Deadline

The deadline to submit the bids was moved from 18 to 25 May, owing to the absence of responses from vaccine companies.

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Additional Commissioner of BMC P Velarasu, while speaking to Quint Hindi, said, “On 12 May, BMC issued the Expression of Intent (EOI) to purchase the COVID-19 vaccine from the global market. According to which, by 16 May, companies had to give doubts and suggestions for accepting applications. But no application was made till 18 May. Due to which, the Corporation administration has decided to extend the deadline and wait for some time.”

In fact, the councillors of the Opposition party brought some of the conditions of the BMC's global tender into question, saying that the corporation has laid down unfavourable conditions.

Owing to this, the corporation administration issued a ‘request for deviation’ notice on 14 May, looking to relax the terms of the tender. Under this, companies interested in tendering were expected to get exemption from certain conditions. However, the notice clarified that the scope and authority of the exemption will be set by the BMC.

According to a senior BMC official, "Through this global tender, BMC was expecting applications from vaccine companies such as Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik V. However, no other vaccine except Sputnik V was granted permission to supply in the country. "

Uniform Policy for Global Tendering: Shiv Sena MP

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging for a uniform policy for global tendering.

As per Shewale, other metropolitan corporations and states are unable to receive a response without the consent of ICMR and DCGI. He also added that vaccines all across the country should have a uniform cost and demanded for tax cuts on the vaccines being imported.

His letter also noted, “Through a state-wise global tender, the states are only pitting against each other. This is creating unhealthy competition between states and the only entity that is most likely to benefit from this is vaccine manufacturers,” Hindustan Times reported.

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Terms of BMC's Global Tender

According to the tender issued by the BMC, the bidder will be bound to supply the COVID-19 vaccine in the three weeks following the placing of work order, follow all DCGI and ICMR guidelines and get their permission.

The vaccine company will be required to quote the price of each vaccine, including all taxes. If the BMC falls short of the cold storages needed for the doses, the supplier company will comply and provide additional cold storage and cold chains to the corporation.

Apart from this, vaccines with less than 60 percent of residual shelf life will not be purchased.

If the firm picked does not supply the vaccine within the stipulated time, then another bidder will be considered.

Additionally, no advance payment will be made for the purchase. If the vaccine is not supplied within the stipulated time, the company will be fined 1 percent per day or 10 percent of the entire contract, whichever is higher, until the vaccine is delivered.

If the vaccine supply is disrupted, or the vaccine deteriorates, then the contractor will be blacklisted and further action will be taken.

Notably, the BMC terms state that countries sharing land borders with India will not be able to bid in this tender.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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