LUCKNOW The UP government had made an announcement, proposing to make the state a trillion-dollar economy over the next five years. But for now, the target does not seem achievable as the government has cancelled the global bids invited for appointment of a consultant, nearly four months after zeroing in on the selection of a bidder.
The decision was taken due to some lacunae in the process of examination/evaluation of the bidders, said officials.
“The state government has cancelled the bids. However, the process is underway for the appointment of consultant to make UP a trillion-dollar economy,” said RK Tiwari, chief secretary.
“For technical reasons we have cancelled the process of bidding for appointment of a consultant to draw a road map to boost the size of GSDP to one trillion dollars in five years (2020-2025). We are initiating the process of bidding afresh and hope to complete the same in the next two to three months,” said another officer.
A notice with subject line ‘Request for proposal for selection of consultant to boost Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Uttar Pradesh to one trillion dollars in five years (2020-2025)’ was issued by special secretary, planning, in this regard.
“The undersigned is directed to refer to the tender ID2020_DPUP509747_1 dated 10-09-2020 on the subject cited above and to say that the said tender process is hereby cancelled with the approval of the competent authority. Fresh tender notice in this regard is likely to be published soon,” said special secretary, planning, in the notice dated March 22, 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first floated the idea of UP’s trillion-dollar economy while speaking at the Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit-2018 on February 21, 2018. Modi said Maharashtra too had set a target to become a trillion-dollar economy.
“Can Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh compete with each other to become trillion-dollar economies? Will UP government compete with other states? More the competition, more will be the investment. This will result in creation of more jobs and strengthen the concept of cooperative federalism,” said Modi at the summit in 2018.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his team began working on the idea soon thereafter. The state government began inviting suggestions and various rounds of discussions were held with reputed institutions on the issue.
A formal process of floating global bids for appointment of a consultant began on June 19, 2020. The state government decided to revise the Request for Proposal (RFP) document and the timelines. The bidders were asked to submit their e-bids by October 9, 2020.
The revised RFP expected the selected consultant to perform the ‘Herculean Task” of taking the size of UP’s GSDP to trillion dollars. In all, the state government received eight bids. Those who submitted the bids included a premier management institute of the country. Four of the bidders qualified the technical round and their financial bids were opened on November 27, 2020 and the authorities nearly zeroed in on the selection of a bidder as consultant.
“UP government has already lost so much time in bidding to select a consultant. If they want to invite fresh bids, they should do so faster as they are losing precious time,” said Alok Ranjan, former UP chief secretary.
The cancellation of bids is bound to upset the state government’s applecart. The state government is unlikely to achieve the objective of taking the size of GSDP to one trillion dollars in the next five years. “UP government’s objective of taking the size of GSDP to one trillion dollars is more of an aspirational goal than an achievable target in a given timeframe. Instead of setting short-term targets, the state government should come out with a long-term vision for the economy. The state government should emphasise on qualitative development instead of focusing on the size of GSDP,” said Yashvir Tyagi, former professor, department of economics, Lucknow University.