Contractors, claiming an outstanding of Rs 1,024 crore from J&K Government, today demanded immediate release of their pending payment or else they will boycott all the development works in the state.
As per contractors, the outstanding bills have accumulated to the tune of Rs1024 crore in both regions of the state, while government has been paying deaf ear to their grievances, thus forcing contractors to sell their properties in order to liquidate debts.
Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCC), Ghulam Jeelani Purza said, “Contractors are facing double edged sword, on one side government is not releasing our payments and on the other our interest on amount borrowed from financial institutions is accumulating to the extent that some of our members were forced to sell their properties to liquidate their debts.”
Giving details about the pending bills, he said work done claims of having total payment to the tune of Rs 1024 crore in R&B sector including Rs 311.58 crore for macadamization upto March 2017 are pending with the government.
“Revalidation of PMDP funds to the tune of Rs 35 crore for Jammu region and Rs 4.50 crore for Kashmir division is also pending so far, which needs to be released by the planning department of JK,” he said, adding, “for current year’s plan of Rs 630 crore for macadamization, the work done claims upto November 2017 is to the tune of Rs 674 crore, but the funds are still awaited.”
Purza said that government has even failed to release bills on account of work done by the contractors post 2014 floods.
“It is irony that despite borrowing money from financial institutions, contractors are being made to suffer due to callous attitude of the government,” he said adding that “contractors are on verge of bankruptcy courtesy nonpayment of bills.”
Another contractor, Muhammad Ramzan said “I had to sell piece of land to pay labour charges as for last 10 months I haven’t received payment from the government, which is totally unjustified.”
A senior PWD official blamed Finance and Planning Department for non-payment of bills. “We have forwarded the request for release of payments to the government, but so far payments haven’t been released. However, we are hopeful that after budget session their payments will be released.”