Engage local companies in projects: Official


LOCAL companies should be considered fairly in the awarding of contracts so that they can contribute to the national economy, an official says.
Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry acting secretary Andrew Lilirua said there had been concerns raised by local contractors about being marginalised.
“In this open environment, the sector is apparently capitalised by major players with superior resources, international construction companies and material suppliers to the detriment of weaker players, mostly small-medium contractors,” Lilirua said.
Lilirua said the construction sector was the fourth largest in the country contributing US$1.5 billion (about K4.5bil) in nominal Gross Domestic Product value, accounting for 8.5 per cent of total national income.
Lilirua plans to develop a policy and legal framework, after conducting workshops in Lae and Mt Hagen, based on the views collated to ensure a fair playing field for small, medium and large construction companies.
“Offshore investment and transfer of funds by foreign contractors including international payments for offshore procurements of construction inputs have significantly contributed to the deficit capital account, thus the balance of payment problem our country is facing currently,” he said.
Morobe deputy administrator Masayang Moat said the value of work done by small contractors compared to what they were paid was not fair because most of the work, especially road maintenance did not last long.