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Engaging private players closely

THE SWISS Challenge scheme, approved by the State Cabinet on Saturday, envisages engagement of a private player in any project from conceptualisation to implementation stage. Thus, it is a step ahead of the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 12:09 IST

THE SWISS Challenge scheme, approved by the State Cabinet on Saturday, envisages engagement of a private player in any project from conceptualisation to implementation stage. Thus, it is a step ahead of the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme.

It would initially be implemented in road construction, buildings (re-densification schemes) and infrastructure development activities, and depending upon the response, it could be extended to other areas, too.

What is Swiss Challenge?

THE ‘SWISS Challenge’ is one of two systems, the other being ‘Bonus System’. Some governments across the globe have used these systems to transform unsolicited proposals for private infrastructure projects into competitively tendered projects.

In India, the Swiss Challenge was probably initiated by Andhra Pradesh during Chandrababu Naidu’s reign as CM. It had proved to be quite successful there. Taking a lead from that, the MP Government has decided to adopt it for experiment.

The scheme is also aimed at attracting significant flow of private capital to the State. Under the scheme, the entrepreneur would submit a project to the State Government, which, in turn, conducts its feasibility study. If the scheme satisfies the parameters (to be finalised), the project would go into an open tender.

Once the tender process is initiated, private parties willing to implement the project could bid for it. However, the first preference for implementation would be offered to the party, which had originally formulated the project. Only if that entrepreneur declines for some reasons, would other parties be offered the project for implementation.

“The Swiss Challenge aims at passing on the initiative to a larger segment of the public so that more innovative ideas for infrastructure development could be available,” Principal Secretary, PWD, PS Padamveer Singh, told Hindustan Times today.

He emphasised the idea was to get more public-private partnerships for development projects in the State. “Now any private entrepreneur can come forward with his, her own