Contractors today warned of protest against government apathy.

“We would protest government’s failure in implementing the 45-point agreement reached with us some four years ago,” Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN) president Jayaram Lamichhane said, today.

They also said that the government’s negligence has hit their businesses hard.
The 16th annual general meeting – that concluded in Nepalgunj yesterday – also issued a 23-point Nepalgunj Declaration.

The two-day meeting decided to form a struggle committee under the coordination of association president Jayaram Lamichhane to put pressure on the government to address their demands and launch a protest programme, if necessary.

Though the government had agreed to remove contractors’ pre-bidding qualification to bid for projects costing up to Rs 20 million, it has so far failed to implement it, the association said, condemning the provision that allows consumer committees to undertake projects worth up to Rs 6 million without bidding. It also urged the government to limit the amount to Rs 500,000.

Likewise, they have also condemned the government’s decision to stop providing 20 per cent mobilisation cost for projects in advance. “The government must allow mobilisation cost some 20 per cent to 75 per cent depending on the nature of the projects,” they added.

Since the low bidding has cost the government and contractors, they also asked the government to formulate a policy that would allow bidding based on average cost but not on lowest cost, as provisioned in Public Procurement Act.

The Nepalgunj Declaration has also asked to ensure easy availability of construction materials like sand and aggregate, adjust the project cost based on inflation rate, recognise construction sector as an industry, bring packages to ensure jobs to 16,000 small contractors, end unprofessional interference in the sector, and remove quotation of project works costing up to Rs 500,000.

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