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As a business owner, if you have applied for government tenders then you know that it often requires you to pay a tender fees and/or an EMD or Earnest Money Deposit. As a bidder, it s natural for you to have questions about EMD meaning, how it is paid, whether EMD is refunded or not, are MSMEs exempted from paying EMD, how EMD and tender fees are different/same, and more. Let us look at what is EMD in tender and as a bidder what are the key factors you should be familiar with when paying (or not) the earnest money deposit.


In this article, we answer some frequently asked questions on tender EMD to help you stay informed and better prepared for government eProcurement and/or private tender bidding. Let us understand what is earnest money deposit in tender in depth.

What is EMD in tender?

EMD in tender means the amount that is given as a deposit to the company/government department that issued the tender. It is the deposit paid by the sellers/tender applicants to the buyer while they bid for the tender.

EMD full form
The EMD full form in tender refers to Earnest Money Deposit.
EMD meaning
EMD means the amount that is given as a deposit to the company/government department that issues the tender.

Where to find details on Earnest Money Deposit?

When you browse through a standard tender notice, explore the section titled ‘EMD Fee Details’. It will contain the basic information on the EMD fees. Details might include:

  • EMD Amount in ₹ – e.g., ₹20,000
  • EMD fee type – e.g., fixed
  • EMD percentage – e.g., N.A.
  • EMD through BG/ST or EMD exemption allowed – e.g., Yes/No
  • EMD payable to – i.e., name of the tender authority/ designation of person
  • EMD Payable at – i.e., location, e.g., New Delhi
Note: EMD is not mandatory. An EMD tender is one that comes with EMD requirements. In such cases, if the EMD amount is not paid, the application for the tender cannot be processed. However, if the EMD amount details are missing from the tender notice, it means EMD is not required for applying for the tender.

Why is EMD payment necessary for tender applicants?

EMD is regarded as a financial guarantee demanded from the bidder to make sure that they commit to the tender project. EMD amount is often demanded for high value tenders. When EMD is requested, tender applications submitted without EMD receipts will be rejected.

When browsing through the tender details, look for EMD fees/amount/details or similar. The EMD full form in tender is usually not used much as the abbreviation is commonly understood by all.

Is EMD refunded/returned?

The EMD amount will be refunded to you whether you win the tender or not. The EMD of an unsuccessful bidder is refunded after the finalisation of the tender contract. The unsuccessful tenders will be refunded with a demand draft/banker’s cheque that is duly endorsed by a competent authority.

5 reasons EMD is not refunded

If a business wins the tender but later refuses to accept the project, then EMD will not be refunded. There are a few exceptions to the rule where the EMD amount will not be refunded:

  • If the bidder withdraws the bid during the validity period of the bid before commencement of the project
  • If the details in the response to tender are modified by the bidder which are not acceptable to the buyer
  • If the bidder who wins the tender fails to enter into a contract with the buyer within the stipulated time
  • If the bidder fails to commence the project at the time mentioned in the tender contract
  • If the winning bidder fails to pay up the (usually for high-value tenders, explained in the following sections)

How is EMD calculated in tender?

An EMD tender fee is generally 2% to 5% of its estimated price.

  • For projects worth as much as ₹43,000 the EMD will be around ₹800
  • For projects that cost ₹10,00,000 the EMD value in tender will be valued around ₹50,000

You don’t need to calculate the EMD fee as it will be directly given in the request for tender published.

EMD vs security deposit

Tenders demanding EMD are common when the estimated project costs are high. Adding to the financial guarantee provided in the form of EMD, high-cost tender projects demand a security deposit as well.

Once a bidder is selected for the tender, he/she must furnish a security deposit to the buyer. This is demanded by the buyer to recover any loss in resources in case the winning bidder does not complete the task as per the work order.

For example, if a bidder has won a ₹2 Crore tender for laying roads, he/she will have to deposit 10% of the estimated cost i.e., ₹20 lakh as security deposit. If the bidder fails to complete the project the security deposit in tender will be forfeited.

Remember to read the tender documents thoroughly to find all details related to payments and refunds.

EMD in government tenders

Government tenders are the most popular tender projects among businesses. There are different government departments issuing tenders daily for large and small projects. Popular government projects include:

Government of India uses tenders as an opportunity to provide small businesses with a platform to sell their products and build reputation. Therefore, the government has exempted businesses that fall under the category of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) from paying EMD in tender.

Are MSMEs exempted from paying EMD?

As per Rule 170 of General Financial Rules (GFRs) 2017, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) are exempted from submission of bid security. However, Ministries/Departments may ask bidders to sign a ‘Bid Security Declaration’ accepting that if they withdraw or modify their bids during period of validity, they will be suspended for the time specified in the tender documents. This EMD exemption in tender has brought more MSME registrants to the public procurement portal hosted by the government.

The government has also made tender fee rules favorable to MSMEs. MSMEs are exempt from paying tender fees specified in the request for tender. Tender applicants for government tenders are required to pay tender fees and EMD. Both these payments need not be paid by MSMEs. Only businesses with an MSME registration can avail these benefits.

How to find tenders online?

To find government tenders online you can enroll on the Central Public Procurement Portal, or the GeM portal hosted by the Government of India. These portals will ask you to sign up and submit relevant documents requested to verify your business details. You can even visit websites of different government departments and search for specific tenders.

Alternatively, it you want to save time and find the most relevant government tenders for your business, try Tenders on Tata nexarc. You can subscribe and explore 1.3 lakh+ tenders in one place and receive email/SMS updates on the latest tenders added that match your business needs.

When preparing your checklist for tender submission, ensure that you include details on payments, especially tender fees and EMD. Also, read the document thoroughly to understand payment options. In many cases, you can pay EMD online and submit the EMD payment receipt along with your tender proposal.