Delays in payments for govt. projects irk construction industry | Sunday Observer

Delays in payments for govt. projects irk construction industry

The crisis hit construction industry is looking forward to a favourable policy framework to fuel its growth in a sustainable manner, President, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka, Ranjith Gunathilleke told a discussion on ‘Way forward for the construction industry in Sri Lanka’ in Colombo last week.

“There are effective policies, but the problem lies in implementation. Therefore, construction industry is expecting the authorities to establish condusive environment by implementing a proactive policy framework to transform the industry to a vibrant sector to ensure the country’s economic growth,” he said. “The industry stakeholders should work towards a common agenda. It is necessary to have a guarantee of payment on government projects. The delay in these payments hampers the growth of the industry. The government should facilitate the industry to harness its full potential, he said.

In a different forum, President Maithripala Sirisena said that construction work in the country should give heed to the country’s environment and culture.

Highlighting the importance of paying attention to environmental changes and impacts and global economic trends, the President said, “During the recent past, people had neglected the magnitude of the effect that the development and construction field had on the preservation of the environment.”

He said there is a growing necessity for sustainability in the country.

The President said that when construction is being undertaken, proper attention should be paid to efficient power consumption, management of raw material and resources, protecting the environment of the construction site, water management and social and cultural suitability.

He said the government was ready to render any sort of assistance to the construction sector’s development. “The construction industry is badly affected. Not only this industry, but the entire economy is affected due to slow progress. We have a huge issue in running the economy. Though the export dependency is large, foreign exchange generation is at stake. However, the strategic Development Project Act resulted in an upward movement of FDIs,” Senior Professor, University of Colombo Prof. Ranjith Bandara said. There are multiple reasons why the construction industry is in crisis. We have to look in to why the construction industry in particular is in crisis. Though it is a promising industry, it has its own limitations. The industry development is horizontal. The possibility of big players surviving due to strong competition is unavoidable. It is necessary for the industry to diversify to manage risks, he said.

“The labour shortage is another side of the crisis. No industry could perform in the long run if due recognition is not given to its workforce. We need to give dignity to the profession. There are no efforts taken to uplift worker life styles. Our labour cost is high and measures of cost efficiencies should be in place,” he said.