Auction process for cattle market begins

RCB eyes huge sums in revenue, schedules biding for April 18

Jamil Mirza April 15, 2024


The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (CBR) has launched the contract awarding process for the Bhatta Ground Cattle Market ahead of Eidul Fitr. This bustling makeshift market that caters to the needs of the twin cities, is set to welcome vendors and sacrificial animals before Eidul Azha.

According to sources, stringent measures would be taken to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and maintain disease-free conditions.

The auction for the contract award will kick off with a starting bid of Rs89.5 million, following the pattern of previous contract awards. In 2020, the contract for the Bhatta Ground Cattle Market was initially auctioned for Rs7 million. However, it took a surprising turn when the contractor who acquired the contract re-auctioned it.

This move resulted in the contractor managing to recoup a staggering Rs230 million, which raised concerns among cantonment board officials.

Subsequently, the contract amounts for the following years witnessed significant increases. Rs70 million was collected in 2021, Rs80.6 million in 2022, and finally, Rs89.5 million was collected for 2023. Unfortunately, the contractor vanished shortly after securing the 2023 contract, leaving the cantonment board to pursue independent recovery efforts for the outstanding amount.

Despite these challenges, the cantonment board's efforts to award contracts totalling Rs230 million in the years 2021, 2022, and 2023 were unsuccessful. The board only managed to receive Rs7 million from the 2020 contract for market cattle.

The contract award process for the 2024 market cattle is slated for April 18 and 19. Prospective bidders must submit a call deposit of Rs5 million to participate. Upon winning the contract, an additional 10 per cent of the total amount must be paid.

The market contractor is authorised to levy charges of Rs3,000 for large animals and Rs2,000 for small animals. Additionally, they can impose parking fees for vehicles entering the market, categorised as entry fees.

Furthermore, the contractor is responsible for providing essential services such as water, shade, and sanitation facilities for the animals. They also collect fees based on vehicle type, including Rs4,000 per round for large trolleys, Rs300 per round for Mazda trucks, and Rs200 for small vehicles.

The cantonment board's proactive measures aim to streamline operations at the Bhatta Ground Cattle Market and ensure compliance with regulatory standards for the benefit of market participants and the public.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2024.


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