Contractors boycott state tenders in Chhattisgarh; national issue, says govt

Contractors boycott state tenders in Chhattisgarh; national issue, says govt

India News

The Chhattisgarh Contractors Association is boycotting tenders floated by the state government till May 30, saying that there is a steep difference in the rates issued in the tenders and market prices, making the contracts unviable.

“With the sudden inflation in prices, contractors are in heavy debt trying to complete the projects they have,” said Biresh Shukla, state president of the association. According to the contractors, there is an over 60 per cent difference in the rates.

While sources said the boycott is affecting tenders worth Rs 200 crore, the government said the issue is not limited to just Chhattisgarh. “This is a national-level issue owing to incessant inflation in prices of steel, cement and other raw materials. The association has been advised to present instances of remedial/relief measures undertaken by other state governments. We are committed to infrastructure development and will consider the demands in right earnest,” a government statement said.

Sources said the government is exploring options to write to the central government for a pan-India policy-level intervention.

The association called for the boycott last week after multiple meetings with government officials and dignitaries. The association has now sought time to meet Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

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On Tuesday, association members met with the chief engineer of the Public Works Department. “I request the government to look into the way the Gujarat government has helped their contractors. We would like a loan from the government to save us from financial burden to be able to work and take new tenders,” Shukla said.

Another demand is for unified norms across departments. “Currently each construction work comes with its own rules and limitations. We want all departments to work under the same guidelines,” Shukla told the media.

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