People in the construction sector currently face a new nuisance added to the already prevalent critical INR crisis. Procured materials from manufacturing sectors get lost on the way and the ordered amounts of materials hardly reach the site.
Just like materials procured for hydropower project construction were secretly taken from the site to steel manufacturing centers for sale, construction materials for private housing sectors had also been smuggled without the knowledge of the owners.
An Official from Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) Oko Tshering said that he lost around Nu 14,000 for one trip of Iron when he ordered three trips of iron which is equivalent to Nu 0.5mn.
People in the housing sectors have begun to detect the manipulation in accounts of the cash memo or the bill. They are skeptical of the bill, drivers bring from the manufacturing sectors where they suspect misappropriation in the ‘over writes’.
“I ordered 206 pieces of iron but it was slashed and written as 200 pieces,” said Oko Tshering. He accused the driver for six missing pieces of Iron.
Similarly Contractor Namgay Dorji said he was much likely to lose around 20 pieces from 23 pieces of iron if his friend didn’t caution him about such mishaps.
“While visiting my site I got the over written cash memo from the driver who brought the materials,” he said. On asking about the over-written bill the driver had a ready alibi but left the site immediately.
Later and after enquiry with the concerned manufacturing sectors Namgay Dorji found the loophole in driver’s alibi. However he could nab the driver and threatened him with police action.
“The driver finally confided and I had to take back his transfer charges,” he said.
The housing sectors are doubtful that there are people who buy the ordered materials on the way to Thimphu. They called it ‘open and outward daylight robbery’.
Cont ractor Namgay Dorji is suspicious that marketing of ordered materials is mostly done in the Gedu regions. He narrated an incident in one of his friend’s construction site where a lady came and talked to the Thikhadar (the chief supervisor of laborers) to buy Iron at Nu 41 while the actual cost price is 47.
At first the cheaper rate did attract attention but the preposition of and the location of the deal was too suspicious. Thus the site owner refrained from it.
Neten Construction’s proprietor Neten Wangdi said that the country is in need of accessible and available drivers and heavy machine operators. Due to the lack of such employees monopoly system works.
Further he said it created a lot of inconveniences to the contractors. “We always face such problems but we are helpless as they are very limited in numbers,” he said.
This had been a trend for the drivers who sell the ordered materials illegally. “They usually do marketing of construction materials such as bricks and cement in Kamji and Sorchen,” said Neten Wangdi.
Construction sectors, contractors and businessmen feel a sense of helplessness as there is no proper organization to look into cases of such a nature.
The group of affected parties said they want to create awareness through media about such misappropriation in procuring materials.
For now the manufacturing sectors have put in place their own system to curb such issues.
“Since transporters or the drivers tend to over write on the invoices we have now been sending in computerized forms, “said a manufacturing sector employee Tsundu.