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…To improve Bhutan’s construction sector

Construction industry plays a major role in socioeconomic development of the nation. It has created employment opportunities for countless many. The industry has great employment generation potential as the sector involves labour intensive technologies. It also provides employment to other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, transport, commerce and financial services as the industry is closely linked with the sectors.

Construction Association of Bhutan, a public benefit civil society organisation, in collaboration with Construction Development Board, will hold the largest Construction Fair in October 2017 to create awareness on construction equipment and technology. The fair will aim at enhancing exchange of technical knowledge and ideas among the suppliers and consumers related to construction industry.

The association has been the voice of construction industry since the beginning. It had been representing construction industry in national and international fora. The organisation works closely with the government agencies involved in construction sector and review policy, plans and programmes to facilitate development in construction industry.

The association will present the issues and grievances of construction industry in upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) with the shareholders, directors of the company, and concerned government agencies to evaluate and review policies and programmes that hinder the development and working of industry.

The organisation monitors construction sectors to broaden its responsibilities and address policy issues and grievances related to the industry. It bridges the contractors with concerned agencies both within and outside the country to avail the services and support for the development and promotion of construction industry.

A CAB official said that there was no harmony in the policies regarding construction industry. “The interpretation of policy was different. There was a need to bring the apprehension of laws and policies into common point,” he said.

CAB creates awareness in the industry on programmes related to national development plans. It assists the agencies concerned with the implementation of development and promotion plans related to constructions.

The association as a public benefit civil society organisation works in collaboration with other civil society organisations like disabled person association of Bhutan, environment commission and provide with the necessary assistance. The organisation works in close consultation with Bhutan Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in terms of private sector development and consults with the government on issues related to electricity tariffs.

The organisation focuses on development and promotion of construction industry in and outside the country and represents construction industry in public forum. The organisation acts as a bridge between BCCI and the Government. CAB also works closely with the Bhutanese contractors by helping them recruit skilled person.

The organisation is faced with various challenges as a sole facilitator for contractors across the nation.

Programme Officer at Construction Association of Bhutan, Namgay Tshering, said that there are only a few people and agencies that understand the task and functioning of the organisation. “The awareness and highlight of our objective needs to be reached to the industry. Many feel that the association has less to do with the construction industry. Everyone involved in industry should support and know the importance of the association,” he said.

He said that many issues regarding the work quality of constructions are complaint to individual contractors. “There is a need to question the agencies and concerned authority who are involved in the construction during the deliberation and tendering of work. This would build collaborative effort to improve the quality and work progress of the constructions,” he said.

The association has formed district liaison committee in 19 dzongkhags to present the issues and problems of construction industry in the country.

CAB was born in 1999 when SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) announced Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) to represent in first council meeting at Kathmandu, Nepal.

As there was no construction association in Bhutan, BCCI decided to call all the class-A contractors to discuss setting up of an association.

Under the Chairmanship of BCCI’s President, all Class-A contractors met on December 14, 1999 and decided to form “Contractors Association of Bhutan” as a forum to discuss problems and policies related to Bhutanese construction industry at national and regional level.

The procedure to institute the association begun in 2000 when all Class A, B & C contractors met in Thimphu to discuss the institution of Contractors Association of Bhutan. The meeting approved the decision to establish “Contractors Association of Bhutan” to deal with specific problems and policy issues related to Bhutanese construction industry.

Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji was the first President-elect of the association. By 2002, the association had fullly-fledged Secretariat established in Thimphu.

During Annual General Meeting held in 2002 in October, the association changed its name to “Construction Association of Bhutan” to represent and widely cover the issues and problems facing construction sector.

Construction Association of Bhutan was registered as Public benefit civil society organisation on April 30 2012.

Although the association is supported by bigger construction companies, there is a need to create the awareness among small construction companies to make them understand about the work and objectives of the association.

Mission

To develop and promote the Bhutanese construction industry and to represent the Bhutanese construction industry at national, regional and international level

Vision

To foster the growth of the member contractors to achieve excellence and become world class providers of all services in the construction sector

Nima

With support from Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)

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