Srinagar, Mar 8; Since Apex contractors’ body had called for indefinite strike on Feb 27, contractors continue to remain on indefinite strike, entering ninth day today.
While supporting the strike call and pressing to get their demand fulfilled Constitutional Contractors Association R&B Division (CCAB) Baramulla in affiliation with The Jammu and Kashmir Central Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCCC) and Self Help Group are holding peaceful strike from past nine days and claim to make it indefinite against government if failing to meet the demands of thousands of contractors in the state.
Contractors across valley have stopped developmental works and boycotted tenders from February 27,” JKCCCC chairman, Mohammad Akbar Paul said in a statement.
“We are being deprived of our livelihood and compelled to borrow money as our pockets are empty,” he said.
Talking to a news agency President CCAB Imtiyaz Ahmad Bhat claimed that “due to political compulsion, liabilities of approx. 80 crore from last four years are pending in Baramulla District and government is least bothered about releasing this whopping amount” “After devastating floods of 2014, we were at the forefront and did our best but in return government left us nowhere, even SDRF funds are yet to be received” he added.
“The strike will continue until and unless our all the genuine demands are fulfilled” Imtiyaz said. He further said that they won’t believe in the commitments of CM anymore. “Many of the commitments given by CM were seen nowhere on the grounds, earlier CM Mehbooba Mufti directed concerned authorities including Chief Secretary to address the grievances of contractors, but unfortunately no action has been initiated,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad.
Association warned the government to clear all their liabilities which are crores in amount and are still pending in departments. “We have already stopped works on all developmental projects under execution including the Fish market project and other projects including bridges, schools, canals and river deepening and have boycotted to participate in tendering process” said Mohd Iqbal Sofi a contractor.
“We demand a written order by Government apprising to fullfil all the demands rather than commitments after that will consider withdrawal our strike call” said Ghulam Ahmad a contractor from Baramulla.
Speaking about the demands, Imtiyaz said only couple of weeks are their till the next financial year is going to start but we haven’t received the payments of past years till now. “We know the amount is too huge government can’t pay in a onetime go but we demand them to give us a written affidavit that explains all the commitments .He further added that we appreciated the Government for introduction of E-Billing PAO system in the State to root out red tapism and chances of corruption but we are not ready for it yet and we demand this system be put to implementation after clearing the backlog of payments.
“The government has failed to formulate the GST tax service in the state, we feel lot of inconvenience due to GST tax because even the govt officials doesn’t know how to calculate the tax then how come we can know it” said Abdul Rashid Gilkar a contractor. He further added that each division must have an information officer who will help the contractors to calculate tax payable amounts, Neither any website was launched by the government from which we can check how much tax is payable for any amount.
Meanwhile a deputation of local contractors met the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti two days back and brought many of their issues into her notice.
CCAB Presidebt Imtiyaz Ahmad said we are with the Coordination Committee if they will look towards each and every contractor while ignoring the commitments of CM Mehbooba Mufti Imtiyaz Ahmad said we will only accept a written order by CM. (PTK)