Late payment to contractors stalling KSA projects

Updated 17 August 2013

Late payment to contractors stalling KSA projects

Late payment to contractors from different government agencies in Saudi Arabia amount to more than SR100 billion, representing about 30 percent of the total volume of government projects in the Kingdom, according to Nabil Abbas, representative of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf.
Abbas said the delay in payments to contractors is one of the main reasons for the faltering of government projects in the Kingdom. These delays account for about 20 percent of the total stalled projects.
The system in Saudi Arabia requires contractors to implement projects as long as the contract has been signed, even if the payments are delayed. These delayed payments from government agencies, Abbas said, are not a justification for the contractor to stop, although international law obliges authorities to pay contractors within 30 days of maturity. However, in Saudi Arabia, delayed payments to contractors extend for periods ranging from three to six months, and up to a year in many cases.
Contractors, consultants and owners are all responsible for the delays and the failure of the implementation of projects, but the issuance of approvals for the implementation of government projects is the prime cause, he said.
Abbas also said: “The most important is the control of government agencies, which provide instructions, follow-up, and monitor compliance by issuing approvals in a period not exceeding 10 days, as well as postponing services which obstruct the implementation of government projects.”
Abdullah Radwan, chairman of the Contractors Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that many of the causes of stalled projects are beyond the control of contractors. FIDIC’s contract will solve all the problems faced by the contractors, as well as 80 percent of the problems of stalled projects, noting that these contracts will contribute in speeding the completion and implementation of the projects.
He also emphasized that the delayed payments of contractors with government agencies exceeding SR100 billion is a result of bureaucracy. The launch of a contractors association, he said, is one of the most important solutions to creating an official umbrella for contractors, and to finding solutions to the many obstacles in the construction sector.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.