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Since the time MES (Military Engineer Services) was born, we as builders for Indian defence were born. Despite the rapidly developing construction for Indian defence, the maximum percentage of contractors are still finding it difficult to be successful as margins are getting tighter than ever and contractors encounter serious challenges in order to sustain their businesses, especially in a weak economic climate. We all know that getting paid on time is harder and harder all the time due to lack of planning by MES authorities for the arrangement and allotment of funds for construction agencies in different heads of construction sector of the department. There is never a shortage of funds for giving salaries and incentives to the own employees of MES and other Government departments. But when it comes to the sector of builders, there has always been an inadequate planning by the government agencies in fund arrangement for builders against their legitimate claims of payments as per their agreements. The arrangement of money for a business is very difficult nowadays. It is one of the greatest challenges that are faced by the Govt contractors. A construction company always fails to acquire new projects or run the project or work in hand if they at any point in time are incapable of securing themselves a payment on the terms which are agreed upon in their contract agreement. The irony of this is the government is spending, paying and investing of money to its agencies, sections, so-called learned employers and planners for the adequate planning of funds arrangements but the result is very alarming. We as the builders of Military Engineering Services appeal to the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance and MES department to look into the matter with following considerations.
1. No contract agreement with contractors should be made/finalised without the full allotment of money in the particular head/project/work.
2. It is evident that a percentage of profit to the contractor is always considered by the government department during the analysis of rates before accepting the contract. A mandatory payment to the employed contract labours and also to the contractor should be made monthly by the department to run their families and the same amount may be adjusted later on while payments to contractors from their dues in the contract.
3. All taxes, levies and dues on account of contractual liability shall be deducted at source from payments due to the contractor.
4. There have been upheavals of rates of various materials due to changes in government policies and it is very difficult and even impossible for builders to assume the government policies of taxes and economic planning in advance and hence compulsory clause of escalation should be inducted in every government contract based on price indices of labour and materials.
5. The government of India to start or induct any formula for “Contractors Welfare Fund” and “Contractors Provident Fund” by deducting a mandatory amount from our payments and later on pay after a certain period of time as laid down in the policies and benefits for Govt employees, private employees or labourers.
From: G.K. Gupta (Jodhpur), Vinod Behl (Jammu), Ramesh Chandra Saxena (Jabalpur), Suraj Sharma (Nagpur),