By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 28: Contractors, who have not received payments for several months, today staged a protest at the State secretariat and threatened to move court if payments are not cleared by March 31.
Over 150 contractors from various places across the State gathered at the Secretariat, shouting slogans against the government. Security was tightened after the demonstration at the highly sensitive area.
“Since the last few months, they are unnecessarily moving files from one department to another. The intention is to delay release of payments,” an irate contractor alleged.
“The government has funds to distribute yarn and blanket, but when it comes to paying contractors, it cites funds crunch. By stopping contractor payments, the government is only retarding infrastructural development of the State,” another contractor said.
A crisis-hit Fince department has imposed an undeclared restriction on issue of ceilings (fixation of ceiling or FOC) against bills.
Official sources said demands from different departments worth hundreds of crores are pending with the Fince department, which is uble to clear them due to undisclosed reasons. But sources said it was due to lack of funds in the State exchequer.
The Public Works department, which is involved in major infrastructural works, has been the worst hit. Pending demands of the department are to the tune of several hundred crore rupees.
Since the last few weeks, the Fince department is issuing ceilings only of some Central schemes and schemes of State Plan which are mostly funded by the Centre. Release of funds pertaining to schemes under non-Plan head is being restricted.