May 12, 2017 News
A number of infrastructural projects which are being funded through grants and loans provided by the Indian government are experiencing delays due to a new tendering and procurement process in the South Asian nation.
According to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, the reason for the delay is that in the agreement surrounding these projects funded by the Indian government, there is a provision that Indian contractors should be used.
As such, due to the new process being implemented, Indian contractors are taking some time to adjust to the changes which has trickled down to cause the delays in Guyana.
Jordan made this known during a press conference following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Guyana and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Programme.
Jordan was at the time giving an update on the work of the Ministry and challenges faced for the past two years since the APNU+AFC government has been in office. He said that the Indian government has been very helpful towards the Guyanese government in terms of approving the financing for the projects.
He said that the Indian government has approved US$50M to link the East Coast Demerara and East Bank Demerara road network. He added that US$4M was approved to supply pumps and US$10M has been secured for ferries to serve the North West District area, among other projects.
Despite the delays, Jordan said that the APNU+AFC government is appreciative of the assistance. He said, “The thing is, all of these projects have to have Indian contractors and consultants, and we’re experiencing grave problems in getting movement and traction in getting these contractors on board.”
He said that it has been over a year since his government would have signed the US$50M road project and nothing has been done. “It is not our fault; we are trying desperately to get contractors.”
When asked what the problem is in getting contractors, the Minister explained, “There is a new system in place in India; A new procurement and tendering system which according to the Indian High Commissioner, everybody is trying to get familiar with.”
Secondly, Jordan reported that the amount for the project may seem significant for Guyana but it is small for Indian contractors, so to get contractors who are interested in bidding for the project is an issue.
Jordan said that his government has written to the Indian High Commission on several occasions on the issue. He said that if the situation continues, the two countries may have to resolve to use different approaches to address the delays.
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