Contractors have asked for temporary waiver of import duty on construction materials citing excessive price increase of all items including rod, cement, stone, brick and bitumen.
Bangladesh contractors' association handed over a written list of their demands to Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman during a meeting on Sunday at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) building.
In the letter, signed by the association's General Secretary Abdur Razzak and president Rafiqul Islam, they said, contractors have been successfully implementing infrastructural projects across the country. However, rod prices have increased 60% in the past year. Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, prices of all other construction materials are also rising at an alarming rate.
Therefore, import duty on raw materials for construction materials should be suspended as the contractors are suffering financially to cope with the skyrocketing prices, it added.
They further called on the government to adjust prices for existing contracts according to the Public Procurement Rules (PPR) and update the rate schedule for new ones as they are struggling with ongoing projects due to recent hike in material costs.
In the current global reality, they recommended necessary fund allocation under Price Contingency during cost estimation for each construction project.
We are struggling to continue the projects at hand and on the other we are not being able to bid for new projects, they said.
Bangladesh Association of Construction Industries (BACI) Director Hasan Mahmud Babu told The Business Standard, "We presented our demands. He [Salman F Rahman] assured us that he will put forward the demands to the government high-ups."
He also asked all contractors to be members of Baki, Hasan Mahmud added.