ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to procure Video Analytic Surveillance (VAS) system from a single vendor to install the equipment at all the sugar mills across the country.
According to sources, it was decided that the cost of installation has to be borne by sugar mills but ongoing lackluster response and delaying tactics compelled the authorities to purchase the equipment for early solution of transparent monitoring of sugar production and supply.
On February 08, 2021, the FBR presented a summary regarding procurement of VAS for proper monitoring of the production and sale of sugar in compliance with the directive of the prime minister. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved an allocation of Rs350 million as a Technical Supplementary Grant for installation of the most optimal VAS solution at the sugar mills’ premises during the current crushing season as requested by the FBR.
In order to properly monitor the production and sale of sugar and the attendant sales tax and income tax thereon, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued SRO 889(I)/2020, dated 21.09.2020 warranting all sugar mills to install VAS System expecting that the process would be completed before official onset of the crushing season on 10.11.2020.
FBR ran a rigorous process of procurement as enshrined under the VAS Rules, 2020, and pre-qualified/approved seven vendors for supply and installation of the System on sugar factories.
The FBR said that the VAS System, however, has so far been installed only by a few sugar mills and those too are sub-optimal solutions. “Ostensibly, the cost, which under the prevailing rules is to be borne by the sugar mills, has been the key factor towards non-implementation of the VAS System.”
Sugar mill-owners, in an apparent effort to cut cost, went around getting demonstrations and quotations from all seven vendors consuming unending time in the process.
Those that went ahead with installation eventually opted for the cheapest and sub-standard solutions.
A relatively small contract size/volume (80 mills only) to be distributed over seven vendors, also did not prove enough an incentive for the vendors to aggressively invest in procurement of the systems and install in a timely fashion.
The last deadline, i.e., January 31, 2021 has already expired and it seems unlikely that the system would be installed in a satisfactory manner across the board by all the mills.
The FBR said that the situation warrants a change in approach.
Accordingly, FBR has been tasked to select and contract one vendor to install the video-analytics solution across all manufacturers of sugar in Pakistan and in the shortest possible time.
The cost is to be borne by the government and the vendor will submit its invoices to FBR for payment.