Odisha Govt Forms Inter-Ministerial Panel To Resolve Contractors’ Demands

Bhubaneswar:  The state government on Tuesday formed a 7-member inter-ministerial committee to look into the demands of the All Odisha Contractors Association.

The committee to be headed by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari has Works Minister Prafulla Mallick, Law Minister Pratap Jena, Revenue minister Sudam Marandi, Labour & Employees’ State Insurance Minister Susanta Singh and Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das as the other members with the Works secretary as the convener.

Notably, the Association had submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on November 26 urging him to direct the authorities concerned for fulfillment of its 10-point-charter of demands with immediate effect. The Chief Minister later directed the authorities to form a Ministerial committee to address the demands of the Association.

The demands of the Association include introduction of standard data block, withdrawal of the cutoff rate of 14.99% in all government projects, 10% of dues for GST in line with Telangana and introduction of the tender rules of the Central government.

The Association has been on agitation mode since November.

While contractors in the neighbouring states are allowed to execute projects from 100% to 300% above the scheduled rate, those in Odisha are forced to do projects at 14.99% than the scheduled rate. As a result, they are suffering huge losses, said Association president Pravat Dash.

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