Congress, BJP Slug Fest Over Contractor Bill Clearance in Karnataka

BENGALURU: Contractors in Karnataka are hell bent on getting their pending bills cleared by the State Government but the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is in no mood to clear the bills stating that a judicial probe is underway to look into the allegations of 40 per cent commission against the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka levelled by Karnataka State Contractors Association, Bengaluru and wait for the probe to be completed.

Standing by contractors demand, the previous Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai sought the intervention of Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Rahul Gandhi to get the pending bills of contractors cleared.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said “It would not be right on part of the State Government to clear bills of contractors at a time when a judicial probe has been ordered headed by retired Justice B. Veerappa into the 40 percent commission allegations made against the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime.”

He told reporters before leaving for Belagavi that the Congress party had assured, if voted to power, to probe allegations levelled against the previous BJP government and coming to power it is time to fulfill the assurances made to the voters. Adding, the Chief Minister said “When the allegations are being probed it would not be right to clear the pending bills of contractors before the probe report is submitted to the State Government.”

Siddaramaiah assured that the interests of contractors would be protected and alleged that during the BJP regime, bills have been cleared for old works completed, bills cleared without execution of works and in some instances bills to contractors have been cleared without the completion of works and all these things are being probed now.

Seeking the intervention of Rahul Gandhi, Basavaraj Bommai asked Rahul Gandhi to direct the State Government to clear the pending bills of contractors within 24 hours or else he observed that "It would be an admission of the allegations that the State Government ruled by the Congress party is into 65 percent commission.”

Bommai wanted the State Government to release the amount for those contractors who have completed the works and let substandard works be probed.

Meanwhile, president of Karnataka State Contractors Association, Bengaluru Kempanna held a press conference and said to meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to get the pending bills cleared as early as possible.

Kempanna said to bring to the notice of the Chief Minister over the problems being faced by contractors after banks have stopped giving Overdraft among other problems hitting them hard owing to non-clearance of pending bills

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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