Home » Construction sector suggests government to settle dues issuing treasury bills

Construction sector suggests government to settle dues issuing treasury bills

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The country’s construction sector has suggested to the government to issue them with treasury bills in lieu of their dues if no cash is available.

The government owes the country’s contractors over Rs.200 billion. Out of this, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe recently said, Rs.25 -20 billion will be settled by end of this year.

“As the dues for large-scale contractors are very high, we strongly recommend that these funds are utilized to settle SME sector dues first, as this would provide relief for a larger number of SME contractors,” Ceylon Institute of Builders President Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said.

“Allocating these funds to large-scale contractors may lead to partial satisfaction of massive dues of a limited number of contractors and would leave contractors’ finances suspended midway,” he added.

“It is recommended that the government can tackle large-scale contractors’ bills via issuing treasury bills if no cash is available at this juncture, “he further said.

Dr. Karunaratne thanked the Central Bank Governor for this arrangement, and expressed hope that the resumption of important infrastructure projects in the country from next year would solve a large part of the problem.

“Furthermore, the government should encourage funding agencies to continue with their funded projects in Sri Lanka.

This may allow about 30-40 percent of contractors to survive and prevent further retrenchment of workers and to restart SME sector companies that are part of the construction supply chain,” he noted.

He also said the Government should encourage financing agencies to continue with their funded projects in Sri Lanka.

“This may allow about 30-40% of contractors to survive and prevent the further retrenchment of workers and to restart the SME sector companies that are part of the construction supply chain,” explained Karunaratne.

“The CBSL Governor should give priority to the settlement of the balance dues to contractors in the year 2023, as this may save contractors and their associated banking sector and finance companies,” he added.

Meanwhile Finance Ministry is taking prompt action to pay the money owed to the public construction contractors in several phases, official sources said.

Accordingly, before the end of this year, an amount of Rs 20 billion rupees is expected to be disbursed and the government is currently working to pay all the remaining arrears in the first quarter of next year.

Sri Lankan government construction contractors numbering around 3000 are in an urgent need of funding for their survival as they have to recover Rs. 150 billion outstanding payment for the work completed in public construction projects including buildings and infrastructure facilities.

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