ITANAGAR, 31 Mar: The All Arunachal Contractors’ Welfare Association (AACWA) has demanded that the state government lift the halt of government cheques issued to the contractors within a specific time period, failing which, the association has called “to stop the entire ongoing development work in the state.”
Addressing media persons at the press club here on Wednesday, AACWA president Nabam Akin Hina said that the government cheques issued to them by the department is wasted as they are “unable to withdraw the money from banks.”
“We demand that the state government immediately lift the halt of cheques in the interest of the contractors. Also, the bills of works under central sponsored schemes (CSS) and MNREGA should be cleared at a go to respective contractors,” he said.
He said that the bankers have clearly stated that the money cannot be withdrawn as per the order issued by the state government.
“We, the contractors are connected with the lowest of the working and business community. If the government is not capable of paying the contractors on time, they should refrain from floating tender for various government works,” he said.
Hina said that most of the cheques issued by the works department were on 24 March, which closed in a couple of days.
“The eyewash policy of the state government should end, thereby providing timely work money to the contractors,” he added.
“It has also been known from sources that maximum funds from plan head have been diverted to non-plan head. Thereby benefiting selected ministers, legislators and those who are close to the ruling BJP,” he claimed, adding: “Whereas, the genuine contractors have been denied their rights.”
He went on to claim that the finance commissioner has denied any help to lift the halt of cheques as the order was issued by the state government.
The union has submitted a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who is also the minister for Finance & Planning, regarding the issue.
On 28 March, an order was issued by the state’s Finance, Planning & Investment department to the banks to not make any payment towards all government cheques issued by the works and forest department/ divisions till further notice.
It also stated that the validity of government cheques issued by the department shall remain valid up to 31 May next.