RAWALPINDI: Government contractors boycotted tenders for development projects on Monday worth Rs300 million.
These tenders had been advertised by the provincial government, who already owe the contractors Rs1.5 billion in outstanding dues for works completed. The contractors said that they would not tender for these new projects of constructing a district highway, buildings and roads. Instead, they threatened to stop work on the ongoing development projects in Rawalpindi worth Rs50 billion if they were not paid. Abdul Hafeez, leader of the Government Contractors Association, Punjab, talking to The Express Tribune, said the government should ensure payment of their outstanding dues instead of testing their patience.
“We do not want to hinder ongoing development projects but the government should realise our problems”, he said. If the government does not pay attention to our demands, we will launch a protest movement across the province, Hafeez warned. Despite being present at the offices where the tenders were being advertised, the contractors did not participate in the bidding. Malik Kaleemullah, Captain (Retired) Latif and Munir Abbasi, representing contractors during negotiations with the administration, made it clear that they would not take part in bidding for the tenders until their outstanding dues were paid.
They said they had to pay millions of rupees to their material suppliers but were unable to do so since they themselves were not being paid. Kaleemullah, Latif and Abbasi thanked the contractors for showing unity by boycotting the new tenders. Later the contractors held a meeting in which a strategy for the potential protest movement was discussed