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Monday, February 07, 2011

How's that state-building coming along? PalArab contractors stiffed.

From Ma'an:
In the course of its state-building program, the Palestinian Authority has accumulated millions of dollars in debts owed to contractors, the union of Palestinian contractors said Sunday, urging officials to pay companies what they are owed.

"The union demands that the Palestinian government pays contractors in return for the projects they executed for the government. Huge debts have been accumulated since November 2010, and some contractors have overdrawn their bank accounts," said Adel Auda, union chief in the West Bank.

Auda said the PA Local Governance Ministry owed contractors over $10 million, while the Ministry of Public Works owed over 70 million shekels (around $19 million). Several other ministries also owed hundreds of millions of shekels, he added.

Over 450 contractors are registered with the union, and they provide employment for 22 percent of the Palestinian workforce, the union official said, adding that contractors were struggling to pay salaries.

"Eventually that will all have a negative impact on Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to build state in two years," he said.

Auda said if the government did not pay its debts, the union would summon all contractors to a meeting and "all options will be open."
But those Jewish communities in the territories are paying their bills to the Arabs who help them build their homes...