`Involve local entrepreneurs in ADB-funded projects`

Greater Kashmir
Publish Date: Sep 7 2006 12:00PM
Srinagar, Sep 6: President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir Shakeel Qalandar today urged the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) to award contracts of various Asian Development Bank-funded projects in the state to the local entrepreneurs, who he said have proved talented enough while carrying out works of IRCON and PDD,” he said. Shakeel was speaking in a meeting with advisor to chief minister and chief executive officer of ERA Vijay Bakaya. Bakaya urged the officials of ERA to explore possibilities of involving more and more local entrepreneurs in the execution of ADB-funded projects in the state, a spokesman of FCIK said today. In order to prepare the local entrepreneurs for ‘taking more challenges ahead’, Bakaya stressed for the need to promote and develop local talent that could lead to build the capacities of existing entrepreneurs. Bakaya claimed that state was getting lot of funds for reconstruction programme, which included ADB-funded projects and PM’s package. “There are yet many packages in the pipeline which are likely to be approved in next few years,” he claimed adding that all these projects will generate economic activities in the state and benefit locals including the entrepreneurs. Bakaya also expressed his happiness that FCIK as representative body of industrial entrepreneurs is moving in a positive direction towards developing work culture amongst the units and stressing more on facilitation and infrastructure to pave way for prospective entrepreneurs,” he said. On the instructions of Bakaya the second session of the meeting was held with the consultants of ERA under the chairmanship of engineer Akhter Rashid. The consultants explained the procedures ERA adopts in finalizing the tenders and awarding contracts to successful agencies. The consultants said the local entrepreneurs usually do not qualify for the huge works. They said they cannot deviate from the terms and conditions of ADB while putting projects on tenders. However, the consultants assured the FCIK that fabrication works like those of steel girder bridges etc could be considered to be awarded to the locals in joint venture. They also informed that the outside contracts and firms would require lot of material like cement, fabricated steel and other items, which they shall have to purchase from local entrepreneurs. However FCIK did not agree with the consultants. “They are not bound by any rule to purchase the items from the local entrepreneurs and it is not necessary that they will purchase the same from the local entrepreneurs,” FCIK members said. Shakeel informed the meeting that the industry had been badly hit owing to the unfavorable conditions in the state. “However there are many units who against all odds have proved their metal and executed huge and difficult projects,” he said. He urged the ERA authorities to award contractors for various projects on the analogy of IRCON who have made it compulsory for outside agencies to work in joint ventures with the local entrepreneurs. “It would be unfortunate if the contracts for various schemes under ADB and PM’s reconstruction plan are awarded to outside firms and contractors without considering locals,” he said. The FCIK president also appealed the chief minister to intervene in the matter in the interest of economic development of the state and capacity upgradation of local entrepreneurs.
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