ISLAMABAD-  The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has been informed by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) that its tender for the procurement of Power Transformers has been opened for re-bidding after addressing the competition concerns raised by CCP.

CCP received complaints by suppliers of Power Transformers against Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) for introducing a condition in its recent ADB tender for the procurement of 31.5/40 MVA Power Transformers. As per the condition only those bids were to be accepted for the subject procurement that were accompanied with type test reports in accordance with NTDC/ WAPDA specifications for the equipment offered.

CCP observed that for as long as two decades all tenders associated with Asian Development Bank have been devoid of any such requirement. CCP also learnt that in a similar tender floated by Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) the same condition was not made a pre-requisite.

Considering that each country in the world has a disparate voltage/ rating level and specifications, it cannot be expected to conform to standards that are not internationally known. Furthermore international manufacturers have no way of knowing the pre-requisites for bidding beforehand. This requirement thus had the effect of denying the complainants and other qualified suppliers a level-playing field thereby restricting competition.

CCP therefore advised LESCO that the requirement of type test reports appeared to be a entry-barrier thereby hinder competition in the market not only to detriment of suppliers but also the procuring agency and the national economy. In its response, LESCO cancelled its tender and only opened it for re-bidding after addressing the concern raised by CCP as informed in its letter datedJanuary 28, 2014.

Starting from September, 2013, a number of competition concerns were brought to the notice of CCP in the power sector in respect of procurement of electrical equipment such as PCC Poles, switchgear apparatus and Power transformers by various DISCOs and NTDC. CCP observed that pre-requisites laid down in these tenders were creating entry barriers that denied a level-playing field to the suppliers to the detriment of all the stakeholders involved. The relevant procuring agencies were made aware of the competition concerns involved and required to rectify them. CCP is pleased that it achieved ninety per cent compliance in these cases. In this regard the cooperation of DISCOs and NTDC is also worthy of appreciation.