After contractors allege corruption, Karnataka govt clears bills worth Rs 600 cr

Karnataka State Contractors' Association said that the government cleared bills worth Rs 600 crore owed to 1,054 small contractors by the Public Works Department.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
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Days after alleging that the ‘40% commission’ practice continues even under the Congress government, the Karnataka State Contractors' Association on Tuesday, February 13 said that the government has cleared bills worth Rs 600 crore owed to 1,054 small contractors by the Public Works Department. 

However, the association's president D Kempanna, reiterated concerns regarding the ‘package system,’ which involves dividing contracts into sections and assigning them to different contractors, allegedly leading to corruption. Kempanna said, “We demand that the package system should be abolished. This is leading to corruption. Due to this system, local, small-medium contractors of the state are facing problems as they are not getting the work.”

He further said, “The association has appealed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar to address pending bills across various government departments, including the BBMP. We have informed them that the government officials were demanding bribes and had appealed to them to ‘control’ the officials.”

On February 8, the association accused the Congress party of perpetuating the 40% commission scheme, asserting that whereas previously MLAs solicited commissions, it is now government officials who are making these demands. He also said that there was a shift in the dynamics of corruption where officials now approach contractors directly for monetary gains in exchange for work contracts. “No MLA, MP or Minister has asked us for money. Earlier MLAs used to ask for a specified amount to give us a contract for work, now the officials demand bribes,” Kempanna said.

Read: 40% commission continues even under Congress govt, says Contractors Association

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