The High Court of Karnataka has issued a notice to the State Government on alleged discrimination in awarding contract works in tenders below ₹50 lakh for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by the Urban Development Department.
N. Mahadevaswamy, president, Karnataka SC/ST Contractors’ Association, said the government has issued a circular to urban local bodies and the Urban Development Department to package tenders of ₹90-95 lakh and ₹10 crore in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits. He said calling tenders above ₹50 lakh by ULBs and Urban Development Department prevented participation of small contractors belonging to SCs and STs.
In tenders below ₹50 lakh, the Karnataka Government has reserved 17.15% of the projects for the SCs and 6.95% for the STs. However, in packaging tenders above ₹50 lakh, Mr. Mahadevaswamy said, SCs and STs are at a disadvantage in awarding of contracts.
He demanded withdrawal of the circular issued by the Finance and Urban Developments on fixing tenders above ₹50 lakh.
The court has posted the next hearing on December 13.