India infrastructure project construction

Highway builders are challenging new bidding regulations for infrastructure projects. The new guidelines favour bidders with experience in large projects and limit the total number of bidders to six.

In early March, the National Highway Builders Federation (NHBF) took the government to court on the grounds that the new regulations restrict the rights of bidders to compete for major projects. The targets of the federation’s action are the National Highways Authority of India, the Planning Commission and the expenditure department of the Ministry of Finance.

The NHBF argues that the changes will provide “scope for favouritism and a high level of corruption” and amount to a breach of the fundamental freedom to practise a trade or profession of one’s choice, Livemint.com reported.

In an attempt to resolve the issue out of court the NHBF met Planning Commission officials to ask for the clause capping the number of bidders to be dropped. It has yet to receive a response.