Domestic meter manufacturers being alienated

The Energy meter manufacturing has been a local domain since 1965. All kinds of energy meters have been successfully manufactured domestically and are being used. In fact there are approximately 50,000 employees directly related to this industry while an estimated 40,000 workers are indirectly involved in vendor industry. The industry also saves huge foreign exchange as all products are indigenously developed with maximum local value addition. The local industry has also been part of smart metering projects, which are running successfully all over the country.
But now the domestic manufacturers are being sidelined by the government. After receiving a loan worth $1 billion from Asian Development Bank for smart metering project the power division floated an international tender for procurement of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) circles. The criterion for qualification is so tough that not even a single local manufacturer is eligible for bidding.
In case of a single entity, the accumulative amount of bidders’ participation in the contract must exceed $100 million (Rs13, 965,000,000) and participation in at least one contract must exceed $40 million. In case of a joint venture (JV), the accumulative amount of bidders’ participation (all partners combined) should exceed $100 million and participation of one of the partners in at least one contract must exceed $40 million.
The Local industry believes that this is tender is not only a death sentence for them but it is also in violation of SRO 827(I), 2001.