KATHMANDU, Nov 9: The government has prohibited the consumer committees from being awarded with the contracts of development projects until new rules will come into effect.
A Cabinet meeting of October 31 decided not to allow the consumer committees to conduct the development works. According to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), the government took the move after many consumer committees were found breaching the laws.
Lack of uniformity in the constructed projects by such committees, failure to facilitate competitive bidding and failure to comply with the quality standards of the constructed infrastructure are among the problems seen in the development works done by the consumer committees. The 58th Annual Report of the Auditor General has also pointed out these flaws in the projects constructed via consumer committees.
Targeting to increase participation of the real beneficiaries, the Public Procurement Act 2007 has permitted the locally-formed consumer committees also to participate in the public procurement process. The Act however has provisioned that a user committee or beneficiary community cannot subcontract the task assigned to it to any construction entrepreneur or sub-contractor. But in many cases, these committees have been found subcontracting for hefty commissions.
According to an MoUD official, the government could review its decision only after enforcing the new working guideline related to the matter.