Govt awards security printing press contract to 2nd-lowest bidder

Representational image: Security printing press
Representational image: Security printing press

Kathmandu, March 26

The government has selected a private company to import and install a security printing press in the country for the first time. The government has not selected the lowest bidder this time, raising eyebrows.

However, concerned officials say they moved to the second-lowest bidder considering the quality of the equipment and the companies’ technical strengths.

According to a public notice issued by the Security Printing Centre, Max International which had quoted Rs 738.898 million for the job has been selected.

However, it has been learned that one of the four companies participating in the bidding had quoted Rs 60 million less than that amount for the job. But, it was not selected.

“That company had proposed to import the printing machine from Durst, and it is better than Hp or Dell that Max is importing,” the centre’s Executive Director Bikal Paudel says, “But, the bidder could not bring an authorised letter to guarantee its ability to import that machine from Durst.”

The government plans to print postal stamps, excise duty stickers, and academic credentials with the machine. Once the machine comes into operation, it can save Rs 9 billion every year, claims the government.

Earlier in February 2020, an audiotape had leaked out, in which the then communications minister Gokul Baskota had demanded Rs 740 million commission from the agent of a Swiss company, KBA-Notasys, to give his side a contract to establish a security printing press in Nepal. The controversy had cost Baskota his ministerial job.

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