MP urges transparency

sumanthiranMember of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance, M. A. Sumanthiran has requested for information pertaining to the awarding of the contract to Arcelor Mittal owned by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, to construct 65,000 houses in the North and East.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement D. M. Swaminathan on Thursday, Sumanthiram has specifically requested for information including for the actual cost of the proposed construction of houses by Arcelor Mittal, and the comparative costs of construction submitted by the other bidders. He has requested for the information by April 21.

“While acknowledging the dire need for housing in the North and appreciating the willingness of the government to heed to it, I consider it important that such a construction process is undertaken in a transparent manner with the present and future wellbeing of the conflict-affected families in mind. As an elected parliamentary representative of the Jaffna district and on the account of the direct impact of it on members of my constituency, I have been compelled to further examine particulars relating to the aforesaid scheme, in the light of many serious concerns raised relating to the aforesaid scheme,” Sumanthiran said in his letter.

He has requested for information including particulars of the 15 bidders who pre-qualified and their respective submissions in response to the call for expressions of interest (EOI), and the criteria of the subsequently amended EOI, and the particulars of the 8 bidders who submitted the request for proposals (RFP).

Among the other information requested by Sumanthiran from the minister is the RFP criteria for ‘acceptable bid security’ and ‘confirmed comprehensive concessionary financing facility’, the RFP document submitted by ArcelorMittal and the EPI-OCPL Consortium in relation to the total cost of construction, the dates on which the financial bids were opened and the list of parties who were present at that time.

He has also requested for particulars relating to the financing arrangement with ArcelorMittal, the comparative costs of construction of the ongoing scheme to construct 10,000 houses in the north and east, the warranty period for the proposed construction, reports on the environment suitability and durability of the proposed construction, information concerning the local agent to be used in the proposed construction and information concerning to the implementation of the proposed construction of the 65,000 houses. 

The full text of the letter is as follows –

07/04/16
Hon. D.M. Swaminathan,
Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs,
Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs,
No.146, Galle Road,
Colombo 03

Dear Sir,

Request for information pertaining to the initiative to construct 65,000 Houses for Conflict -affected Families in the Northern and Eastern Provinces

While acknowledging the dire need for housing in the North and appreciating the willingness of the Government to heed to it, I consider it important that such construction process is undertaken in a transparent manner with the present and future wellbeing of the conflict-affected families in mind.

As an elected parliamentary representative of the Jaffna district and on account of the direct impact of it on members of my constituency, I have been compelled to further examine particulars relating to the aforesaid scheme, in the light of many serious concerns raised relating to the aforementioned scheme.

Thus, I request that you kindly provide me with the following information in relation to the aforementioned housing project:

1. Particulars of the 15 bidders who pre-qualified and their respective submissions responding to the call for Expressions of Interest (EOI)

2. Criteria of the subsequently amended EOI

3. Particulars of the 8 bidders who submitted Request for Proposals (RFP)

4. RFP Criteria for ‘acceptable bid security’ and ‘confirmed comprehensive concessionary financing facility’

5. RFP documents submitted by Arcelor Mittal and EPI-OCPL Consortium in relation to the total cost of construction

6. The date on which the financial bids were opened and the list of parties who were present

7. Particulars relating to the financing arrangement with Arcelor Mittal

8. Actual costs for proposed construction by Arcelor Mittal

9. Comparative costs of construction of other bidders

10. Comparative costs of construction of ongoing scheme to construct 10,000 houses in the North and East.

11. The warranty period for proposed construction

12. Reports on the environment suitability of proposed construction

13. Reports on the durability of proposed construction.

14. Information concerning the local agent to be used in the proposed construction.

15. Information concerning implementation of the proposed construction (E.g.: will local labourers be used?)

Given the urgent need for the release of such information I kindly urge you to respond to this request on or before the 21st of April 2016

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

M. A. Sumanthiran

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