J&K Government has an unpaid liability of Rs 719 crore towards the contractors on account of development works carried by them across the state.
Public works department in this regards has sent a communiqué to finance department seeking immediate release of the funds.
According to the communiqué of PWD: “By the end of March 2018, the department has executed the works to the extent of Rs 2,349 crore out of which Rs 1429 crore stand already released, however leaving unpaid claim of Rs 919 crore. During the year 2019-20, additionality of Rs 200 crore was released against the unpaid work done liability of Rs 919 crore, thereby leaving balance unpaid work done of Rs 719 crore.”
“In view of above facts, principal secretary to government finance department is requested to release an additional Rs 719 crore to the department for clearing unpaid work done claims of the executing agencies under macadmization programme in cities and towns,” it states.
A senior PWD official said that they have been urging the government to release the funds so that the liabilities of contractors will be cleared. “However, the huge amount of Rs 719 crore is still pending which is hampering the developmental activities.”
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCC) has threatened to stop all developmental works and lock offices of PWD across Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have been pushed to the wall by the government. Works completed by some of our contractors in 2014 are yet to receive payments. Some of us have sold our properties to repay our loans, such is the situation of the contractors,” said chairman, JKCCC, Ghulam Jeelani Purza.
“After 2014 floods, we restored roads, buildings, but instead of awarding us, we are being punished by the state government. We have done developmental activities, but we are not able to understand why government is not paying us. Some of our contractors have turned bankrupt due to delay in payment of their bills.”
He said that JKCCC has threatened to launch agitation and boycott all works across Jammu and Kashmir, if the state government doesn’t pay our bills till March 31.
“We have also warned all the executive engineers that they should not issue tender notices when they have no funds to pay our bills,” he said. “If the pending bills of the contractors are not paid unitl end of the month, we will lock the offices of chief engineers and executive engineers.”