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Tamil Nadu Freebies: Govt asks mixer makers to state concerns in tender

Wednesday June 22, 2011 12:48:04 PM, IANS

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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has asked manufacturers of grinders, mixers and laptops to state their concerns regarding its tender to source these products for free distribution in the state.

At the pre-bid meeting with the manufacturers held here Tuesday, the government asked them to send in their views and concerns in writing, industry sources told IANS.

"Going by the product specifications listed in the tender, it is evident that the government is focused on distributing good quality products," Coimbatore Wet Grinder Manufacturers Association (COWMA) secretary D. Krishnamurthi told IANS.

Vijay Srinivasan, marketing director at Maya Appliances manufacturers of Preethi brand of mixers, said: "The government seems to be clear on the quality aspect. It does not want poor quality products even though it is for free distribution."

The state government has floated a tender for sourcing grinders, mixers and fans numbering 25 lakh each, and an international competitive tender for 912,000 laptops.

The grinders, mixers and fans will be distributed to families eligible to draw rice from the public distribution system (PDS) while laptops will be given to students of government-owned or aided educational institutes.

At the pre-bid meeting, COWMA members had requested some changes in the product specifications and the eligibility conditions.

"We had asked the government to go in for 26 gauge thickness stainless steel drum that is currently used in manufacture of grinders, instead of 22 gauge thickness as bending has to be done by machines," Krishnamurthi.

The grinder manufacturers have also suggested to the government to opt for lower-powered motor, instead of the 150 watt motor stipulated in the tender.

According to Krishnamurthi, the manufacturers also want the government to increase the size of the consortium from the stipulated two/three member, so that COWMA members could put in their bids, and also relax the minimum turnover conditions for the bidders.

"Citing the rule that small-scale units need not pay earnest money deposit (EMD), we have requested the government to exempt the small grinder makers from the EMD condition," Krishnamurthi said.

The manufacturers have also suggested advance payment to successful bidders.

A mixer manufacturer said: "The participants raised issues like the length of power chord, jar size and others related to specifications. All these are related to the cost of manufacturing. Only when the government freezes the product specifications, we can say whether the government's target price could be met."

The Tamil Nadu government has estimated the two-jar mixer tender at Rs.5 billion, grinder at Rs.6 billion and the table fans at Rs.2.5 billion.





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