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'Contractors being forced to pay bribe'

CHITRAL, Jan 16: The president of the government contractors association, Chitral, Faizur Rahman has accused the provincial finance department of seeking illegal gratifications from the contractors to clear their outstanding dues. Addressing a press conference here the other day along with other contractors, including Syed Sher Hussain and Mohammad Naeem, the president of the association said the contractors of C&W, irrigation and public health engineering departments had been waiting for the payment of their bills for the last one year after completing their works. “The contractors are made to go to Peshawar by the respective departments to grease the palms of the finance department officers to get the funds released,” the dejected contractor leaders said. They said delay in payment of dues had also hit daily wage workers as they were also deprived of their hard earned money. The contractors said the finance department had not released bills of annual maintenance and repair since the year 2005. They said that the district was vulnerable to natural disasters affecting the road infrastructure every year which needed to be rehabilitated accordingly, but unavailability of funds was hampering the work. The contractors asked the government to clear their dues within two weeks otherwise they will launch a protest movement in the district.]]>

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