New Delhi: Inviting suggestions for adopting the global best practices in government procurements, which runs into thousands of crores of rupees, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a committee which will come up with ideas to bring out rules.

"(The committee will) come up with suggestions which would bring rules, regulations and procedures...in terms of adopting best practices around the globe," Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Amar Sinha told a FICCI-IIFT function.

India is not a member of the WTO on Government Procurements and has recently taken the "observer" status in the multilateral pact which sets common rules and procedures for the state procurements.

The 'observer' status would give India an insight into how governments of developed countries place multi-billion procurement orders with the industry.

The global state procurements are estimated at a huge USD 1.6 trillion and are a big attraction for the multi-lateral corporations.

The government procurements constitute about 10-15 per cent of the global economy, according to the estimates of the WTO.
India's public procurement is estimated at about Rs 8 lakh crore (about USD 150 billion).

"We have become an observer, we do not have a time line when we will become a member," Sinha said.

"There are opportunity costs for non-participation in GPA in terms of foreign trade opportunities," Robert Anderson from WTO Secretariat said.

Citing examples Anderson said it would also protect a country from protectionist measures like the USA's 'Buy American" clause which was not applicable to suppliers from GPA member countries.
 
(Agencies)