NCPEDP has in the past engaged with the Ministry of Finance on issues of concession/exemption of excise duty on assistive technology and devices for persons with disabilities and on the need of allocating a greater percentage of the Union and State Budgets on initiatives and programmes for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. For technical knowledge and know-how, NCPEDP even supported the participation of some of it’s State Partners and members in training workshops on CRPD based Budget Analysis. Further, NCPEDP worked on the CRPD based Budget Analysis of the Union and State (Odisha and Tamil Nadu) budgets in India.
It is no hidden fact that the government of India is the biggest spender in the country with Government procurement constituting about 30% of the GDP. But, currently, there is no single law governing Procurement by Central Government. Public Procurement is governed by General Financial Rules (GFR) and some procedural Manuals. In 2012, a Public Procurement Bill was tabled in the lower house of the Parliament under the previous Government; however, the Bill lapsed with dissolution of the house due to the announcement of General Elections.
For disability to make an impact and for the government to become an enabler for an inclusive society, persons with disabilities need to leverage this situation by ensuring that Public Procurement is made accessible! If the disability sector is successful in achieving this, it will be a huge accomplishment as it will strengthen the case for accessibility at multiple levels from manufacturers to suppliers to service contractors, even creating an atmosphere of healthy competition and further innovation, research and development in the field of accessible technology, devices and software in India. NCPEDP has therefore, taken up the mandate to push for accessibility clauses in all Public Procurement manuals and rules.
NCPEDP is working with its partners to create and implement a strategy to get the Government of India to adopt a procurement policy that specifically requires the purchase of accessible goods and services. Two sets of Rules and Manuals have already been shared in the public domain and NCPEDP has made an intervention in both of them.
- Draft Manual on Policies and Procedures for Purchase of Goods
- Draft General Financial Rules 2016