In­dian Am­bas­sador vis­its Chukha Hy­dro Power Plant

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

To­day, gov­ern­ment spends a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the bud­gets on procur­ing goods, ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture. Bhutan is no ex­cep­tion, its gov­ern­ment be­ing the largest buyer in the coun­try, with public pro­cure­ment ac­counted for 60-70 per­cent of the gov­ern­ment bud­get or around 35 per­cent of Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) in 2012/2013.

In­te­grat­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial con­sid­er­a­tion into th­ese large vol­umes of public spend­ing is a prac­ti­cal way to in­cre­men­tally pro­mote sus­tain­able con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion in the coun­try. Bhutan’s devel­op­ment goal is guided by the prin­ci­ple’s phi­los­o­phy of GNH and it com­prises of four pil­lars which in­cludes the con­ser­va­tion of sus­tain­able uti­liza­tion and man­age­ment of en­vi­ron­ment.

Dur­ing the launch of the Green Public Pro­cure­ment in Bhutan (GPP) Project, Min­istry of Fi­nance , Ly­onpo Nam­gay Dorji said, with limited re­sources that we have, Bhutan as always give more pri­or­ity and ut­most im­por­tant in pre­serv­ing our pris­tine en­vi­ron­ment. To­day in the eve of launch­ing the GPP project marks yet an­other mile­stone in the devel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy of GNH for the con­ser­va­tion of sus­tain­able uti­liza­tion and man­age­ment of en­vi­ron­ment.

We hope it will be lead­ing na­tion in the SAARC re­gion and across the globe, demon­strate the suc­cess of GPP, Ly­onpo added.

Ly­onpo fur­ther added that, Min­istry of Fi­nance be­ing the lead agency in pro­cure­ment of the coun­try, Ly­onpo as­sures that all the nec­es­sary sup­port will be pro­vided to bring for the suc­cess of this project in the time to come ahead.

The project had nine work pack­ages and it had bro­ken down into twenty three ac­tiv­i­ties.

Project Direc­tor for GPP Bhutan Project Mr. Kezang said, the pack­age zero is more of es­tab­lish­ing the project of­fice which was done, pack­age one is to do re­search col­lects mar­ket in­tel­li­gent. So that we can take in­formed de­ci­sion for de­sign­ing the hand­book, GPP guide­lines, what ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing for public pro­cur­ers as well as sup­pli­ers and will be do­ing train­ing for both.

Right now, what is ab­sent is while there is ca­pac­ity build­ing on the pro­cure­ment of­fi­cer side, there is limited ca­pac­ity build­ing on the sup­plier side. There are lots of mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion in the pro­cure­ment, in­ter­pre­ta­tion of clauses in the pro­cure­ment rules and reg­u­la­tion which is dif­fer­ent from what sup­plier un­der­stand and among the sup­plier, they again in­ter­preted dif­fer­ently be­cause it is largely due to no ca­pac­ity in terms of in­ter­pre­ta­tion. So try­ing to bring all those com­mon clauses to a com­mon un­der­stand­ing where it will make their life eas­ier for both sup­plier and the pro­curer, said the Project Direc­tor.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease, the GPP Bhutan Project aims to im­ple­ment GPP prac­tices in Bhutan, en­abling the pro­cure­ment cy­cle to be used as a driver of green growth by in­creas­ing the pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and economic mul­ti­pli­ers of public con­sump­tion, pro­vid­ing an in­cen­tive for sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion among sup­pli­ers, par­tic­u­larly cot­tage/ mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (CSMEs); and build de­mand side and sup­ply side ca­pac­i­ties to write and re­spond to GPP ten­der.

“Im­ple­ment­ing GPP prac­tices into the public pro­cure­ment cy­cle can pro­vide strong sig­nals for the mar­ket to pro­vide more sus­tain­able prod­ucts at af­ford­able prices and also en­cour­age pri­vate con­sump­tion of sus­tain­able prod­ucts “the press re­lease fur­ther stated.

Be­side the GPP ben­e­fit, it also faces some chal­lenges of in­te­grat­ing el­e­ments of GPP into the public pro­cure­ment space in Bhutan. For in­stance, the chal­lenges are: lack of ex­plicit GPP le­gal, pol­icy and reg­u­lar­ity frame­work; lack of ad­e­quate knowl­edge and ca­pac­ity; bud­getary con­straint in the im­me­di­ate term and scare sup­ply of green/ sus­tain­able goods and ser­vices.

Mean­while, the project was funded by the Euro­pean Union’s EuropeAid SWITCH-Asia with the cost of Euro 2.1 mil­lions, and it was tech­ni­cally launch on March 31st, 2014 among the im­ple­ment­ing part­ners and par­tic­i­pants gov­ern­ment agen­cies and of­fi­cially launch on 21st Au­gust of this month. The project con­sor­tium con­sists of five non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions from Bhutan and abroad, namely In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment (IISD), Bhutan Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (BCCI), Col­lab­o­rat­ing Cen­tre on Sus­tain­able Con­sump­tion and Pro­duc­tion (Ger­many), Royal In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment (RIM) and Royal So­ci­ety for Pro­tec­tion of Na­ture (RSPN, Bhutan).

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