State govt. will provide work worth ₹4,000 crore to benefit small contractors, promises CM

Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar urged the contractors to stay away from politics

March 04, 2024 10:21 pm | Updated 10:22 pm IST - Bengaluru

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at an event organised by Karnataka State Contractors’ Association in Bengaluru on Monday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at an event organised by Karnataka State Contractors’ Association in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Promising to clear the pending dues of contractors, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said that the State government has decided to provide work worth ₹4,000 crore without “package” (large contracts), in an effort to benefit smaller contractors in the State.

“I have directed the Public Works Minister (Satish Jarkiholi) to give works worth ₹4,000 crore without packages that will benefit small contractors. I have directed the Minister to provide ₹25 crore worth work in each Assembly constituency to benefit small contractors,” the Chief Minister said, addressing a convention of Karnataka State Contractors’ Association here.

Non-cooperation from Centre

While Union Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman and former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had promised ₹5,300 crore for the Upper Bhadra project, money has not been released so far, he said, adding that despite non-cooperation from the Centre, the State government will clear dues in phases.

Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar urged the contractors to stay away from politics and said that he was also aware of harassment to contracts by some politicians.

“The previous government has burdened you all. While the budgetary allocation for Water resources was ₹ 16,000 crore, works worth ₹25,000 crore has been approved. A total of ₹ 1.25 lakh crore worth projects are currently being implemented in the Water Resources Department. How can contractors complete their works in such circumstances? How should the government clear the bills? We are focusing on overcoming this problem,” he said.

Mr. Shivakumar said, “About ₹ 1.2 lakh crore has been kept aside for development works in the Budget. We will release a portion of money (dues) to you. We are facing problem since the Centre is not releasing the money. How should we run the government? The government is also aware of your problems. We know you bring money on loan to implement the works. Your demands will be considered after the Lok Sabha elections.” He also said that it had come to the notice of the government that big contractors, who have won the big packages, have sub contracted the work. “It is the officials who started this mafia,” he said.

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