Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Suruj: Contractors will be paid

MINISTER of Works and Infrastructure Dr Surujrattan Rambachan has assured that contractors who have completed State jobs will be paid.

Rambachan said the projects were currently being audited to verify the work was completed. 

“A number (of jobs) have been verified and are being processed for payment,” he said yesterday.

Rambachan was responding to a group of contractors who staged a protest  outside Bhupsingh Park, Penal, where Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was attending the annual Siparia Women’s Association’s Kiddies Carnival competition on Wednesday. See Page 24 

The contractors demanded outstanding payments for several projects, including rehabilitation work throughout the Chaguanas West constituency during the by-election last July. 

The group held up placards calling on the ministers of Food Production and Works and Infrastructure to explain why they have not yet received payments.

Spokesperson for the contractors, Danny Persad, said they were attempting to meet Persad-Bissessar to discuss their concerns.

The Prime Minister did not speak with the protesters. 

She later told the media: “I will raise their concerns with the relevant ministers.”

Persad, owner of JDR Construction Ltd, said the contractors were hired to work on 289 projects valued at $116 million.

“We assembled here this morning to highlight the plight of non-payment of contractors that worked since July and promised payments in a couple of months’ time and up to now we have not received any money,” he said.

Persad said several attempts to contact Rambachan and Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj have proved futile.

Persad said yesterday, “No one has contacted us since the protest. We have not received any money and we are not getting any appointments with the ministers to discuss our concerns.”

Persad said the contractors needed the money to pay loans, credit cards and hardware suppliers, among other expenses.