Around 200 local contractors joined hands on Tuesday to hit out at BJP government departments for holding back their payments of around Rs 400 crore for over a year. Addressing the media, Goa Government Contractors Forum (GGCF) Convener, Jitesh Kamat, said government civil contractors of roads, buildings, bridge and water supply have come together to form a forum to deal with major problems like delays in getting payment. Read the full report here.
According to the sources, the Forum said the payments had been pending for over a year. “There has been a need to come together because our bills have been pending with the government for over a year now. We were told that some payments would be made by Ganesh Chaturthi, but we have not received anything,” said Forum convener Jitesh Kamat.
He pointed out that despite CM’s assurance in the assembly that Rs 200 crore would be paid to the contractors they are yet to receive the money which has put them in an awkward situation facing their suppliers, banks and financial institutions.
The Forum has decided to issue memorandums to the Governor, Chief Minister, PWD minister and Chief Secretary and will wait for a month before taking the next step. GGCF President Sangram Kerkar said the fund problem is not new to contractors. He alleged that major construction companies undertaking major development works and who have holding capacity get preference for payments, but contractors who cannot undertake big works due to financial constraints are not being paid. “We are not against any development, we are a part of development but the government should not take us for granted,” Kerkar said.
He said that the problem is not new and for the past few years the contactors have faced problems due to lack of funds. He added that the government has helped those affected by mining, helped Western Shipyard employees and questioned why it is not helping the contractors.
The Forum also pointed to a flaw in the contracts. According to them, they were made to sign contracts that said payments would be made only when funds were available.