Kathmandu, November 25
Contractors today organised a sit-in protest in front of the prime minister’s office in Baluwatar against the state’s repressive policy towards them.
Citing that the government has turned repressive towards contractors in recent months by blaming them for every delay in projects, contractors staged the protest in front of the country’s executive head for an hour this morning. Moreover, contractors said that the sit-in will be organised in front of PM’s office continuously for the next one week.
“The tendency of directly blaming contractors for delay in a project regardless of any cause has increased in recent times. Instead of supporting contractors and the construction industry, the government’s policy is against us and halting the growth of the construction sector,” said Rabi Singh, president of the Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN).
FCAN said that contractors were obliged to stage the protest after their concerns were overlooked by other government agencies, including the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT). “We took our concern to the leadership at MoPIT and also at the Public Procurement Monitoring Office. But the leadership at both government agencies were reluctant to address our issues,” added Singh.
In recent months the government has started taking action against contractors that delay project works and seek extension of project deadline without a valid cause. However, contractors have said that the government policy and action should not put all contractors in the same basket.
“Not all contractors halt project works intentionally,” said Singh, adding that a number of other factors contribute to delay in project development.
As per contractors, repressive policies of the government have been affecting the entire construction industry which will leave a negative impact on the economy as well.
As a part of their protest, FCAN has also informed it will stage a protest at Maitighar, hand over their licences to the government and not participate in any tender of the government in the near future.
A version of this article appears in print on November 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.