‘E-procurement’ is the new buzzword of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which spends up to ₹500 crore a year to procure raw material for making laddu and other anna prasadams. Taking into cognizance the large volume of its requirements, the IT-savvy TTD has already bid adieu to the offline tender system and espoused the ‘e-tendering’ system in order to bring in transparency in the procedure. The TTD has a robust procurement system in place that avoids human interference. Tenders are invited online and consignments received are stocked in the godowns spread over a two-acre site near Alipiri in Tirupati after undergoing a thorough testing process. According to the records, the TTD annually purchases around 61.50 lakh kg of ghee, sugar (14,400 tonnes), Bengal gram dal (9,200 tonnes), Sona Masuri slender variety rice (4,680 tonnes), toor dal (1,200 tonnes), dried grapes (540 tonnes), cashew splits (144 tonnes), and cardamom (162 tonnes) in addition to 1,04,000 tins of refined sunflower oil each weighing 15 kg, red gram dal (876 tonnes), green gram dal (284 tonnes), black gram dal (215 tonnes), jaggery 1,300 tonnes), seedless and fibre-less tamarind (237 tonnes), mustard seeds (6,1.68 tonnes), coriander seeds (54.75 tonnes), black pepper (25.55 tonnes), turmeric powder (25.55 tonnes), and other ingredients for use at the temple of Lord Venkateswara as well as under its Nitya Annadanam scheme. According to stipulations, only those who are registered with A.P. Technological Services are eligible to take part in the tenders. The participants have to qualify both technical and financial bids before being awarded contracts. Submission of annual turnover certificates attested by a registered Chartered Accountant by the suppliers is mandatory. The Agmark and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licences are mandatory for the supply of certain commodities and are verified during the opening of technical bids. Once the bidding process is completed, the Andhra Pradesh Technology Services Limited (APTS) platform sends a communique to the bidders asking them to take part in the online reverse tendering system which the State government has made mandatory in all cases where the supply orders exceed ₹1 crore. The price quoted by the lowest bidder (L1) will be declared as the offset price for the reverse tendering. The materials supplied are subjected to rigorous testing at the Food Analysis Laboratory in Tirumala for assessment of quality ahead of payment. Cloth items like uttareeyam (upper cloth) blouse piece and vastrams which are presented to the devotees attending select sevas like Kalyanotsavams are sent to the State Silk Board in Tamil Nadu for testing. Talking to The Hindu, TTD Chief Engineer Nageswar Rao said that there are several occasions where the suppliers fail to meet the prescribed specifications in the supply of commodities which are on par with the standards of FSSAI and Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI). While there is a high possibility of rejection in the supply of dry grapes, cardamom, cashew nuts, dry chillies and tamarind, it is low with regard to ghee that is supplied mostly in tankers (partially in tins) and sugar. As the supply of ghee comes up to around 40% of the total cost of the purchases, a separate committee of experts constituted for the purpose undertakes a physical verification of the plant before finalising the tenders.