Govt released over Rs 10k crore to contractors during pandemic under simplified payment process | India News

NEW DELHI: The road transport and highways ministry has released Rs 10,339 crore to contractors during the Covid period under the simplified payment process, according to a statement issued by the ministry. Another Rs 2,475 crore is being processed and is likely to be released soon.
The ministry said it has simplified the system under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme and contractors’ payments are being made every month instead of milestone achievement basis.
It said a number of relief packages have been extended for its contractors and concessionaires owing to the pandemic scenario. The retention money, which is a part of the performance security till construction period, is being released in proportion to the work already executed in accordance with the contract specification. Moreover, the retention money for up to six months is not deducted from the bills raised by the contractors.
The ministry said for public private partnership contracts, performance guarantee is released on pro-rata basis. Out of a total 1,253 applications under 1,155 projects for this relief, Rs 3,527 crore has been released and at least Rs 189 crore is under process. The ministry and its agencies have been making direct payment to approved sub-contractor through escrow account. Out of total 21 applications under 19 projects for this relief, Rs 241 crore has been released and nearly Rs 27 crore is under process.
In yet another relief to contractors, the ministry is now approving extension of time for meeting their obligation under the contract for up to six months depending on site conditions. Similarly, waiver of penalty for delay in submission of performance security and bank guarantee in new contracts entered into during March, 2020 to September, 2020 is being approved.

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