The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) urges the government to appoint a commission inclusive of construction, banking and economic experts to conduct a formal study on the halted construction projects and restart only those essential construction projects.
Dr. Rohan Karunaratne
A press release issued by the President of the Ceylon Institute of Builders, Dr. Rohan Karunaratne further states: The government has temporarily stopped all construction projects due to the current economic and financial crisis in the country. Many contractors are facing serious problems with bank loans, staff retrenchment, leasing, salaries and overheads with this decision.
An issue that is often ignored is the effect on the general public, in terms of health/safety factors, inconvenience etc. For example, half-done road projects resulted in potholes in roads, excavated roadside drains while culverts and bridges were demolished, and projects to reconstruct were abandoned. The halting of these projects has disrupted normal public transport as well.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction industry have been lost due to the shutdown of construction. Construction companies and contractors have obtained bank loans for the relevant projects. However, they have not yet received the money due from the government -Approximately Rs.100 billion is due.
Contractors, on the one hand, have to pay their employees and also have to pay installments and interest on loans. The government has not even paid for the projects they have halted. Under this situation, construction companies and contractors are facing a number of very serious crises.
Therefore, construction companies and contractors are urging the government to appoint a commission soon to conduct a formal study and complete only the essential projects that have been stalled.
• Set-up an expert committee to conduct formal study to identify top-priority semi-completed projects
• Re-commence work on identified projects
• Settle contractors’ bills for half-done projects according to current market prices
• 2023 budget should include the conclusion of remaining semi-completed projects and additional projects should be identified as essential