- Some contractors have committed suicide. Some have fled homes
By Sandun A Jayasekera
The government would seek Parliamentary approval for a supplementary estimate of Rs. 130 billion when Parliament meets on February 5, to settle unpaid bills of contractors, suppliers and other entrepreneurs who have undertaken various development and reconstructions projects from the yahapalana government, Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.
The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government is in a huge financial fix as a result of yahapalana government’s short sighted, asinine and politically motivated economic policies. They have given contracts for infrastructure development and other ad hoc development projects before the Presidential polls but haven’t paid a rupee to contractors and suppliers, Minister Gunawardana who is also the cabinet spokesman said yesterday.
Minister Gunawardana pledged that all defaulted payments would be settled soon after the Parliamentary approval was given for the supplementary estimate in early February.
Minister Gunawardana told the media last morning that hundreds if not thousands of contracts have been offered by the government for rural and urban development projects with no plan to raise funds for them. It was entirely a political gimmick aimed at the Presidential poll. Now the contractors, suppliers and many others who undertook those contracts are in a tight spot as they cannot settle their bank loans, pay salaries to employees and settle credits of suppliers.
“Some contractors have committed suicide. Some have fled homes, Others are in hiding as they are hounded by creditors, banks and employees. The government has calculated the outstanding payments to a massive Rs. 130 billion accumulated by October, 2019. However, the Rajapaksa regime is of the view that who ever did the blunder, the government is under obligation to settle these loans to contractors and suppliers. That is why we present this supplementary estimate to Parliament for Rs. 130 billion,” Minister Gunawardana emphasized.