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Unified construction law need of the hour: CIDC chief

To address the problems of the construction industry with governments at various levels, several ministries, multiple agencies and multiplicity of taxes and fees, a single construction law should be brought in, Director General of the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) P.R. Swarup has said.

Considering its contribution to the economy and also the plight of contractors putting in their money with governments not making proper funds ready, a unified approach was required, he said at a press conference here.

CIDC was working on the outlines of the national law which should be in tune with international laws since the country was not longer the preserve of Indian operators alone and international players were coming in. Even the arbitration process had to be in accordance with the UN guidelines, he elaborates.

Dr. Swarup said the two-day managing committee and general council meeting of Builders’ Association of India here on Friday and Saturday would deliberate on the need for such a law. Former Secretary of Law P.K. Malhotra would participate in the discussions on Saturday.

He said with contractors borrowing money from banks along with construction sector, the banking industry was also facing the burden with works worth Rs. 4.5 lakh crore under arbitration.

Stating that Singapore, China and each State of the US had construction laws, Dr. Swarup, who is also the Member-Secretary of Engineering Council of India, said failures in the past should not prevent one from a law that would be unified, sensible with practical applicability.

Separate ministry sought

National vice-president of BAI Ch. Ramakotaiah said contractors should be allowed to get the profit due to them on time to sustain the industry. The bills due to them from government agencies should be paid in the mandatory 90 days and if, for not doing so interest was levied by banks, it should be paid by the government. He demanded that a separate ministry be constituted for the construction sector. Chief Engineer of CPWD (A.P. and Telangana) N.N.S.S. Rao was among those present.

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