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Contractors set August 31 deadline for Karnataka government to release payments

Contractors Association's President, D Kempanna, urges Karnataka government to resolve 7-month unpaid dues issue by August 31. Despite assurances from officials, payments for completed work remain withheld, raising transparency concerns and risking contractor protests.

Contractors set August 31 deadline for Karnataka government to release payments vkp
First Published Aug 11, 2023, 2:48 PM IST

D Kempanna, the president of the Contractors Association, has firmly called on the Karnataka government to address the ongoing problem of unpaid dues. The contractors have been waiting for payments for seven months and stress the urgency of resolving this before August 31.

Kempanna's plea follows unsuccessful attempts to communicate with officials like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar over the past three months. Despite assurances from Minister Satish Jarakiholi and Priyank Kharge, the contractors insist on getting paid by the end of August.

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He says that even though the orders came on June 28 and July 30,  the government has not released the payments. The Contractors Association has raised the issue with district associations and relevant ministers but their efforts have not given any fruitful results. 

Kempanna insists that the due amount must be paid by August 31. He is concerned about payment delays and questions the role of the Bengaluru Development Minister. He also questioned the BBMP authorities for the delay in releasing the funds for the contractors, who have completed their work. 

Allegations about Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar seeking a 15% commission on a big project have sparked concerns about transparency in government departments.

The Contractors Association represents contractors who have worked on important projects and taken loans. They point out cases where funds for their work were held back. They say Rs 657 crore are owed by the BBMP, despite the BBMP commissioner denying any payment orders.

Kempanna emphasised the need of releasing the funds to the contractors, as many contractors take loans and work on big projects. However, if the government fails to pay the amount, contractors shall come on to the streets and they will have no other option than to consider suicide.

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Kempanna states that despite a small fund release, discussions with Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have not led to a solution. He denies claims of third-party commissions and clarifies that no government minister asked for such payments. 

He added that the government should only consider calling tenders for the departments where there are enough funds available. This can lead to the transparency of work and also the contractors can work without any worries. In between the politics of the government, it's the contractors who suffer because of the losses incurred.

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