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Bid will be termed invalid if unauthorised: Mumbai civic body

As civic officials began screening the proposals the Mumbai civic body received in response to its global tender for supply of 10 million Covid-19 vaccines, they said the bids of suppliers who have not been authorised by vaccine manufacturers will become invalid
By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2021 12:29 AM IST

As civic officials began screening the proposals the Mumbai civic body received in response to its global tender for supply of 10 million Covid-19 vaccines, they said the bids of suppliers who have not been authorised by vaccine manufacturers will become invalid.

A day after Pfizer made it clear that it has not authorised anyone globally or in India to import, market or distribute its Covid-19 vaccine, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday said it will term the bid to supply Pfizer’s vaccine as invalid if no genuine link is found between Pfizer and the Czech supplier behind the bid. The civic body said the same rule will apply to all bidders who have proposed to supply other vaccines.

On Tuesday, the BMC said it received eight proposals for supplying 10 million vaccine doses. Out of the eight bidders, seven have proposed to supply Russia’s Sputnik vaccine. One bidder had submitted a proposal is for supplying the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. The BMC said further scrutiny is going on, and the last date for submitting proposals has been extended up to June 1, 2021. The BMC had floated a global expression of interest (EoI) on May 12, giving one week’s time to interested parties for supply of vaccine. Post which ,two extensions were given on May 16 and May 25.

Pfizer had on its statement on Tuesday said: “As stated earlier, during this pandemic phase, across the world, Pfizer is supplying its COVID-19 vaccine only to central Governments and supra-national organizations for deployment in national immunization programs. Neither Pfizer Inc nor any of its affiliates globally, including in India, have authorized anyone to import/market/distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine. We continue to have ongoing discussions with the Government of India towards making our vaccine available for use nationally.” Civic officials on Wednesday said they are aware of the statement made by Pfizer and that it will scrutinise each and every bid for the same (if suppliers are authorised by the manufacturers). The last date for bids is June 1, 2021.

A senior BMC official, not wishing to be named, said, “We have received bids from a Czech supplier to supply Pfizer vaccine and AstraZeneca. We have also gone through the statement of Pfizer and are aware of their claims. We will see if the suppliers who submitted their bids are backed by the vaccine manufacturer. If no genuine link is found in verification of documents, that particular proposal will be counted as invalid, be it of Pfizer or any other company.”

Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Tuesday told HT, “It is a fact that someone has sent the bid for Pfizer. If someone has bid, we will evaluate it as per merits of the case.”

The bidder offering supply of Pfizer vaccine has also sought advance payment, said civic officials. However, the BMC in its bid document has stated that it will not make any advance payment, they pointed out.

“On the issue of advance payment, our tender conditions are clear that no advance payment will be made. The pricing part will come at a later stage. First, we are wanting to ensure whether those who have sent proposals are authorised to supply us the vaccines or not,” said an official who did not want to be named, as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

According to BMC’s condition, a supplier or manufacturer is supposed to supply 10 million vaccine doses within three weeks from the date of appointment.

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