A delegation of the Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) led by CAP Chairman Chaudhry Habib Kanwal met with Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht and Punjab Communication and Works Minister Sardar Muhammad Asif Nakai. During the meeting the government officials listened to the problems faced by the construction industry in the procurement and completion of govt. contracts and issued directives for the formation of a committee to address these issues. They urged the construction companies to prefer local material and manpower in their projects instead of importing from abroad to energize the local industry and create more job opportunities in the country.
CAP presented a detailed presentation regarding the difficulties being faced by the industry in government contracts which included differential in building material and labour rates between the market and that is offered in government projects, timely issuance of funding and refunding of security and performance guarantee.
They also urged the provincial government to adjust the material and labour rates as per the market, as the existing rates mentioned in market rate schedule (MRS) do not reflect the prevailing market rates. “Due to the fluctuation in currency rates, the cost of building material and products and its allied items have multiplied in the market,” they added.
CAP also observed that at the time of awarding of a contract, some percentage of contract value is released to contractors, but remaining amount is released in installments spreading over five years, although the project might have completed in two years from awarding date. Moreover, practices of releasing funds at the end of a financial year should be avoided.