Dhangadhi: Construction businessmen in Far Western Province have expressed their grievances against the government for non-payment despite the completion of certain projects. The contractors argue that the lack of timely payment hampers their ability to undertake new projects, as the Union and State Governments continue to call for fresh tenders without settling outstanding dues.
Previously, an understanding was reached that new tenders would not be initiated until previous payments were cleared, as stated by Lakshman Swaran, the President of the Federation of Nepal Construction Professionals, Sudurpaschim Province. However, the government has allegedly disregarded this agreement by announcing new tenders.
Swarna further revealed that some contracts worth up to 40 arbas with a budget of 1 crore have been awarded to their organization. He urged the authorities to prioritize those contractors who have not received payment for their completed work and to avoid overlooking their concerns. Additionally, the businessmen complained that the government was issuing contracts without proper project reports (DPR), particularly in contentious areas such as unsettled land and site clearance.
In Far West alone, construction businesses have faced a loss of over one arba rupees in unpaid dues. Contractors have urged the government to promptly settle the outstanding amounts owed for various projects. The Federation of Nepal Construction Professionals Sudurpaschim Province Committee presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister of the province, Kamal Bahadur Shah, and Chief District Officer of Kailali, Yuvraj Kattel, demanding payment for their completed work.
The memorandum includes requests for timely payments, contract period extensions, and measures to prevent price freezes. Despite the outstanding bills totaling more than 70 arbas for construction projects across the country, the government's response has been perceived as indifferent by the construction industry. Numerous development ministries have sent payment bills exceeding 10 arbas to the Ministry of Finance, yet these remain unpaid. Similarly, for ongoing construction work valued at 50 arbas, contractors have requested an extension of the project timelines.