In a bid to further improve the ease of doing business, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has acceded to most of the suggestions made by the industry body, Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI).
CEAI had submitted suggestions about including an omnibus bank guarantee system, performance parameters of consultants, approval of detailed project report (DPR), value engineering, technical capacity provisions and evaluation of bids.
Following detailed deliberation with the industry body, NHAI agreed to most of the suggestions made by them. Moreover, suggestions that were outside the purview of NHAI have been forwarded to the relevant authorities for their consideration.
Suggestions regarding the omnibus bank guarantee system were accepted by NHAI and guidelines have been issued on the matter. Suggestions regarding the use of innovative technologies and materials were accepted and NHAI has asked CEAI to propose new technologies while preparing DPRs and avoid wasteful expenditure items. NHAI also assured that the approval process of various stages of DPR shall be expedited.
Under the technical capacity provisions, a cap on the number of projects awarded to a consultant will be linked to their performance and rating on the Vendor Performance Evaluation System.
NHAI has also reiterated its commitment to ensuring timely payments to consultants.
NHAI assured CEAI suggestions that help facilitate the smooth working with consultants shall be positively considered in the future as well.