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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, May 26: The Sarawak government had adopted the Federal policy to allow variation of price (VOP) for certain materials in State-funded projects for the entire year of 2021.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the policy covered major contraction materials including reinforcement bars, crushed aggregate (crusher run), mild steel pipe (water and sewerage pipe), steel sheet pile and others.
He said the Sarawak government has also introduced other procurement initiatives to reduce project downtime as well as to ensure smooth implementation.
One of the measures is adding a new Sub-Contracting or Sub-Letting Clause in the State Contract which allows the government to intervene by assigning parts of the main contractor’s works to the sub-contractor in the event the progress of works as stipulated in the contract is not achievable.
Another measure, Uggah who is also Bukit Saban (GPS-PBB) said, is establishing a list of ‘rescue contractors’ to be considered to take over and “rescue” sick and abandoned projects to expedite completion of such projects.
The other measure is allowing a minimum monthly interim payment of RM1,000 on the actual work done on site for all works contracts to assist contractors in managing their projects’ cashflow.
Uggah who is also Deputy Premier of Sarawak was responding to Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (PH-DAP) who had called on the Sarawak government to allow contractors awarded construction work for public projects over the last two years to revise their awarded contract prices so as to cater to the huge increase in construction material cost.
At a press conference on May 25, Chong voiced this following a Federal Ministry of Works’ directive issued on May 1 that allowed contractors undertaking Federal projects to review their contract price to cater to the increase in cost of building materials.
He said it was unfortunate that there was no such directive from the Sarawak government.
Chong who is Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chief urged the State government to emulate the Federal government’s policy and allow contractors to raise their contract price so that the projects may be completed and they in turn can contribute to the State’s economic recovery. — DayakDaily