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Saturday, July 5, 2008

80 building items may enjoy price adjustment

The Works Ministry has identified 80 items related to the construction sector which need price adjustment.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said the items, including those directly and indirectly related to the construction industry, have been identified to be listed under the variation of price (VOP) list.

There are currently 16 items in the list.

The new items will be put forward to the Finance Ministry before they are included in the list.

"With the VOP, contractors will be able to make price adjustments on the items," Zin told a press conference yesterday after meeting contractors of Works Department (JKR) projects to discuss the rising cost of building materials.

The ministry has also met with contractor associations and come up with several proposals to help the contractors manage their projects, he added.

The proposals include having a stockpile of steel and cement to help meet supply and stabilise prices in the market.

Others include paying contractors' claims within 14 days, renegotiating government projects and imposing a windfall tax on cement and steel producers.

Zin also said it was proposed that the 10 per cent cement import tax be abolished and that contractors who have delayed projects be given extra time to finish their work instead of having action taken against them.

By New Straits Times (by Suganthi Suparmaniam)

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