The government owes around Rs. 97 billion for private construction companies for building of roads, bridges, buildings and several infrastructure projects. This amount has been accumulated for the past several years and the 15% of these claims have now been honored by the government.
“The 15% of claims that have not been paid so far are in stagnation due to the failure by construction companies to forward proper documentations for payment to the Finance Ministry.
Advisor to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, R. Paskaralingam has played a key role towards the settlement of these claims holding series of meetings with the construction companies and Finance Ministry officials.
Commenting to ‘Daily News’ on the Sri Lankan construction industry, Vice President Chamber of Construction Industry Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said that the industry is now witnessing a lull period and the Easter Sunday blasts have aggravated the situation. “This is because most of the pre planned and new investment projects have been put on hold.
After the blasts there were no mega construction projects that were executed by both local and foreign constructors”.
Most of the investors are adopting a wait and see policy and Dr. Karunaratne said that this trend is expected to continue until end of elections.
Dr. Karunaratne who is also the Chairman Ceylon Institute of Builders said that the industry has seen a 13% to 14% drop from around 21% annual growth five years ago. He said that today the industry is growing at around 7 to 8% per annum. “Currently there are 72 ongoing mega construction projects in the Western province and most of them are apartment and hotel projects.”