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LAHORE: Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) has strongly protested against the Communication & Works Department Punjab for showing apathy towards the issues being faced by the contractors.

The Punjab Secretary Communication & Works Department had a scheduled meeting with the delegation of Constructors Association (CAP) Pakistan here on Wednesday on the directives of the Chief Minister Punjab, when the CAP office-bearers reached the venue they were told that the Secretary had left for Sahiwal to accompany the Chief Minister Punjab.

CAP Chairman Syed Ashfaq Hussain and Senior Vice Chairman Arshad Dad on this strongly protested to the government functionaries present at the meeting saying that they wanted to raise their issues with the high ups. They boycotted the meeting saying that the Secretary should have postponed the meeting to some other day and informed the CAP in time.

Ashfaq Hussain later in a statement said that the construction and housing industry alone ensures working of 44 allied industries thus creating a lot of job opportunities and spinning the wheel of economic activity.

He said that the major issue being faced by the constructors in Punjab is the non-implementation of PEC standard bidding documents and requirement of registration by the provincial departments despite registration of any construction company in the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC). He said that when department acknowledge licenses issued to the construction company by the PEC then why bidding documents by the same organization is not acknowledged by the provincial departments.

Regarding other problems, he said the Punjab government demand performance guarantee by the contractors. Laws demand that the contractor shall provide Performance Security to the Employer in the prescribed form. He said that it is the demand of the contractors that an insurance bond should be accepted in place of performance security while the limit of Rs 50 million fixed for performance guarantee was fixed 10 years back and now the rates of the construction items have increased more than 10 percent.

Therefore, it is proposed that the limit of performance guarantee may please be increased to Rs 300 million.

“If the projects do not complete within time limit due to shortage of funds or delayed due to default by the Government, then expenditure on account of extension of Performance Guarantee should be reduced up to balance work. This will enhance the financial capabilities of the Contractors in Punjab and encourage competition at all level,” he said and added contractors with contract value less than Rs.300 million may be exempted from providing Performance Security.

Upon receipt of performance guarantee bid security of work may be returned to the contractors. The government should ensure the availability and release of full funds of the project, well before the completion period. Practices of releasing funds at the end of the financial year should be avoided.

The whole period, where funds are not provided, the extension of the time limit of the contract should automatically be enhanced until full funds of the scheme are released. He also proposed that when the project is completed/handed over, the performance security may be refunded within 10 days’ time.

Material and labour rates may be adjusted according to the market rates because the rates mentioned in MRS are not based on prevailing market rates.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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