CHITRAL: Contractors Association Chitral president Mughal Baz Khan demanded the chief minister and the accountant general take action against the district accounts officer Lower Chitral for allegedly withholding payments of contractors without any reason.
Talking to mediapersons here, he alleged that soon after taking charge of the office, the accounts officer had been openly demanding illegal gratification from the contractors to get their payments cleared.
Mr Baz said the official withheld the bills for months despite the fact that they fulfilled all the formalities.
“He does not clear the bills unless we grease his palms,’’ he alleged.
He said the members of the association in Chitral were already in distress due to a number of reasons specific to them which included the limited working season of five months due to harsh weather and the paucity of funds.
He said the authoritarian attitude of the official had aggravated their problems.
He said the inordinate delay in payment of bills had not only put the association in distress but also severely affected the daily wagers who worked with the contractors.
Citing examples of the coercing tactics on part of district accounts officer, Mr Baz said members of the association supplied emergency items and firewood to the hospitals and dispensaries in Chitral at the peril of their lives facing the threat of coronavirus but their bills had been pending with the official since April 20.
He regretted that the citizen portal of the prime minister was approached with the grievance but to no avail, saying the contractors continued to be subjected to harsh tactics.
He questioned the government’s claim of purging its departments of corruption.