Cash crunch: work slows down, contractors fail to pay | punjab$jalandhar | Hindustan Times
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Cash crunch: work slows down, contractors fail to pay

punjab Updated: Nov 22, 2016 14:40 IST
Harvinder Kaur

Bank officials counting the old currency notes of Rs 500 in Jalandhar on Monday(Pardeep pandit/HT Photo)

The road works under Urban Rural Regeneration Mission across the city have slowed down. As per information it is also being feared that the labourers might stop the work altogether by next week, if they don’t get their daily wages.

Nearly 700 labourers who are currently working for different contractors have not been paid salary.

It has been learnt that all the labourers hired on the daily wage basis have not been getting salaries from the last 10 days. The contractors here are unable to provide salary due to the demonetisation and limited withdrawal from the ATM. “The average daily wage of the labourers carrying out the road works is `400,” city contractors here informed.

President Municipal Contractors Association, Jalandhar, Avtar Singh said, “The labourers have now given an ultimatum of stopping the work, if they are not paid by the next week.”

“We don’t have any source of paying the contractors. Since they too have to run their families, they are having a hard time,” said Avtar Singh.

“If the government does not find any solution, we will have to ask the labourers to stop coming from next week,” he added.

The Municipal Contractors Association, Jalandhar consists of nearly 60 members who are been facing the same problem.

The contractors here also condemned the circular of Reserve Bank of India, released on November 14. As per the circular, “The district central cooperative banks in the country are not allowed to accept the specified notes as deposited from their customers and also not authorised to exchange the notes.”

“We all are a part of different cooperative societies, some of which are carrying out road works across the city,” said a city- based contractor pleading anonymity.

“We have not been able to exchange old notes,” said the contractor.

While the temperature drop is also being considered one of the reasons for the slow pace of work, but the contractors said that due to non-availability of cash, the construction material being brought in the city has also reduced.

Contractors here informed that in the coming day or two, they will be holding a meeting with municipal commissioner GS Khaira. As per information the meeting will be aimed at the extension of the deadline to complete the road work.

Earlier, the last date for completing the 170 road works was September 30.