LAHORE: Constructors working on various government development schemes have threatened to stop execution of all the projects if their rates are not increased in proportion to the hike in construction material costs.

“We will stop work on all the projects across the country if especially the smaller contractors badly hit by the price spiral are not compensated properly,” Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) president Engr Kamal Nasir Khan told a press conference here on Wednesday.

The decision, he said, had been taken after a meeting of the CAP members from across the country.

He claimed that 26,000 small contractors of category C-5 and C-6 have already stopped working on their respective projects as they are neither in a position to get loans from the market nor can spend from their own pockets on these schemes.

“Only those who have completed 80 to 90 per cent of work on their respective projects are carrying out the rest of the job as they cannot back out at this stage,” he said, adding that projects worth over Rs2,500 billion have been affected due to the price hike.

He warned that they would also boycott the tenders for future contracts if their demand was not met with.

He said the closure of the construction sector, the biggest industry after agriculture as 40 industries are attached to it, would cause large-scale unemployment.

Responding to a question, he said a committee had been formed by the previous government to assess the losses being incurred by the contractors but the exercise was halted with the regime change in the month of April.

He said the incumbent government should follow the previous regime to assess the impact on the construction sector.

He told a questioner that the mega projects being carried out by Wapda or with the assistance of Asian Development Bank and World Bank were excluded from the boycott as the donor agencies monitored their respective projects themselves and ensured payments.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2022

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