Long stretch strike of contractors continue, demands release of pending payment

Danish Tariq

The contractors of Kashmir valley are on strike from last 40 days and are demanding immediate release of their pending payment, and revocation of order no 186-F of JK finance department that the payment shall be restricted to 15%, there is liability of 1024 crore towards contractors in Kashmir. This amount had to be paid to the contractors before the end of financial year that is up to 31 march 2019 though new financial year has already started, yet the contractors are running from pillar to post for the payments of last financial year, but to no avail.

Development works including repair of roads have come halt as the state government had failed to release the pending bills of contractors amounting to Rs 1024 crore. In April the work on development projects used to be in full pace as the Kashmir witnesses break in construction works during winter months due to low temperature.

Imtiyaz ahmad, civil contractor said, the boycott call given by joint contractors coordination committee (JCCC) against the pending bills of contractors “we have always worked for the development but government has let down the contractors community from every corner,” he added we are paying huge amount of taxes towards government and contractors are backbone of Kashmir’s economy “we have boycotted all developmental works, neither tendering nor any repair work will be carried out till our payments are released”.

Abdul Majeed, another contractor said, we are already suffering due to many issues we are being pushed to walls by these such orders from government “it’s very unfortunate that the government is always doing inequality with Kashmiri contractors” he further added “ we have taken loan from bank and we have not paid installments because of pending bills, banks are charging us huge amount of interest that leds to further problems,” we have not paid a single penny to suppliers also, we hope government will release our pending payments to ease our troubles.

The Kashmir valley contractors are protesting under the banner of JCCC at Chief Engineering complex from various districts of Kashmir, they also locked down the offices of various officials and treasuries of district during this long stretch strike.

According to Ghulam Jeelani Purza, JCCC Chairman, Due to negligence of officials the funds were lapsed on the end of financial year although the funds were available for distribution but HoD’s and DDO’s of various departments have kept funds stopped, he further added “government can release our pending bills in instalments so that we can work further and that will be easy for government also” but no official approached to us for any assistance we have written letter 3 times to governor for meeting but all the times our request denied, now on May 06 we have given call for Raj Bhavan march from engineering complex rajbagh to address our demands, the strike will be continued till our genuine demands get fulfilled, Purza said.