Public construction works will be carried out in two shifts from now onward: Janardan Sharma
October 10, 2021 06:00 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Oct 10: In the course of discussing the implementation of the budget with various agencies, the Ministry of Finance held discussions with the National Planning Commission on Sunday. At the meeting, emphasis was laid on increasing the capital expenditure and moving ahead with the programs announced in the budget immediately in order to achieve the target of 7 percent economic growth projected by the replacement budget.
At the meeting, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma said that the condition of working in two shifts will be added in the documents related to the contract of public construction projects. “Capital expenditure cannot increase by just working in one shift. If the capital is not spent, the goal of achieving economic growth is not possible. Development work will not be finished on time,” he said. “An environment for working in the night shift should be created. We will also have to monitor the work without sleeping for some nights,” he added. Stating that many of the projects are abandoned as one construction company is given more contracts than its capability, he said that some laws will be amended.
Similarly, Minister Sharma said that the practice of winning contracts with low bidding but not working on projects would be ended. He also said that preparations are being made to operate closed government-owned industries as well. Yarn, clothes, rubber, cigarettes, and other industries which are closed at the moment will be brought back into operation under a new modality, he said.
Minister Sharma said that technical programs like ‘earning and studying’ will be started in schools across the country. Also, programs like opening a cooperative and putting its 50 percent investment in the manufacturing sector will be started immediately, he said.
He said that work will start soon after finalizing the procedure for carrying out public construction works worth Rs 100 million through labor cooperatives. The finance minister has estimated that this will create over 500,000 employment opportunities inside the country. He said that getting such works done by labor cooperatives instead of consumer committees would be institutionalized and real workers would benefit from it.
At the meeting, Dr Bishwanath Poudel, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission expressed the need to give projects to contractors on the basis of their potential. “Every single project falls into the hands of contractors. They're not even afraid of the government. In such a scenario, how will the capital expenditure increase?” he asked.