New Delhi: In a bid to regulate and ensure transparent bidding mechanism in the government purchases, the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to tackle corruption approved the draft Public Procurement Bill here on Wednesday.

“The GoM on corruption has approved the Public Procurement Bill and it will be sent to the Prime Minister for his approval and subsequently will go to the Cabinet for final clearance. It will be tabled in the Budget session of the Parliament,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy told reporters.

Terming the draft bill a crucial measure to curb corruption and irregularities growing in the government transactions, the minister said, “ It will prove to be boon into curbing corruption as the proposed bill talks about several provisions that aims at taking stringent actions against the corrupts.”

As per the sources, there are stringent guidelines for price negotiations in the proposed bill. Price negations will be however permissible under special circumstances but it will be dealt under a set of pre-determined rules by the government. Also there will not be any restriction on the number of bidders, other than on specified conditions.

The GoM on corruption, formed in January last year, had among its terms of reference, formulation of a transparent public procurement policy.

The Bill intends to regulate public procurement by all ministries and Central Government departments. It also aims at ensuring transparency, fair and equitable treatment of bidders, promote competition and enhance efficiency and economy in the procurement process.

The draft Bill is based on the recommendations of Committee on Public Procurement headed by former bureaucrat Vinod Dhall.