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KARACHI: The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has issued another international tender for the procurement of 0.32 million metric tons of wheat for local consumption.

Pakistan is facing some 2.5 to 3 million metric tons shortage of wheat due to lower crop output during this season. Initially, the federal government allowed duty-free import of 3 million tons of the commodity including 1.5 million tons through TCP and the same quantity allocated to private sector.

So far, the TCP has made contracts for import of some one million metric tons of wheat by January 2021, while the private sector has booked some 22 consignments for the import of 1.4 million metric tons of wheat.

In order to complete the targeted quantity, the state owned grain trader, working under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce, has invited sealed bids from the international wheat suppliers for supply of 320,000 metric tons (5 percent more or less) wheat through their local offices or representatives, which have capacity to supply wheat (in bulk) through worldwide sources.

As per tender terms and conditions, the interested parties can submit bids for a minimum quantity of 100,000 metric ton and bids less this quantity will not be accepted. In addition, wheat must be strictly in accordance with the standards and specifications prescribed by the TCP and import policy order in force.

The last date for bids is November 3, 2020 and interested supplier have been asked to submit for the supply of wheat on or before November 03, 2020, latest by 1600 hours. Bids will be opened on the same day at 1630 hours in the TCP's Board Room, in presence of the bidders or their authorized representatives

Successful Bidder(s) will be required to ship the entire tendered quantity of 320,000 metric tons in such a way that the entire quantity must be arrived by 31st January, 2021. 1st shipment of minimum 50,000 metric ton will be made within two weeks from the date of opening of Letter of Credit. The shipment of the balance quantity not less than 50,000 metric tons will follow every fifteen days till completion of the awarded quantity.

In case LC is delayed due to any fault of suppliers, the shipment date will be calculated from the date of award instead of opening of LC.

According to TCP, the interested parties who have previously not fulfilled their contractual obligations with TCP will not be eligible to participate in the bids, unless they clear their dues along with penalties or fulfill their contractual obligations in services and commodities with the TCP, as the case may be, before tender opening date. Furthermore, those firms against which black listing procedures have been initiated by the TCP will not be eligible to participate in the tender.

Sources said that on the request of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday decided to increase the TCP's allocation for the import of 1.5 million metric tons to 1.80 million metric tons to cater for the additional requirement of 300,000 metric tons demanded by the KP and Sindh for shipment by mid-February.

The federal government is also making efforts for import wheat through government to government basis from Russian Federation. As a part of these efforts Passco has also already signed an agreement with Russia for import of 180,000 metric tons wheat.

The ECC, in its meeting held on Monday has also endorsed the request of Ministry of Food to import another 320,000 from Russia under the government to government arrangement however a Committee of Secretaries of Finance, Commerce and Food Ministry will look into the possibility of import of wheat either by the Passco or the TCP.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020