Call for legislation

THE Fiji Master Builders Association has urged Government to introduce legislation to address the problem of small building contractors exploiting those who want to build or upgrade their homes.

Association president Vijay Raghwan said the members had expressed their concerns about the growing number of small building contractors who were tarnishing the construction industry name.

Mr Raghwan said the association, which was made up of the major building contractors in the country, had received a number of complaints from consumers regarding shoddy workmanship, and “even some cases where money paid for work was not done”.

“Our members are urging Government to introduce legislation to address this serious problem, for it is not only affecting consumers, but it is casting a negative image on our industry,” said Mr Raghwan.

He said the FMBA would strongly support Government in introducing legislation that would substantially increase protection from “unscrupulous operators”.

“We are presently putting together recommendations to help towards this end,” said Mr Raghwan.

Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar had revealed earlier some statistics from the council which showed that they had received 56 complaints this year relating to “poor quality workmanship, absconding builders and delays in job completion”, costing consumers $1,797,797.

Mr Raghwan said the licensing was only one of the major concerns expressed by members and that he expected in the coming weeks, through meetings and consultations with members, to introduce further suggestions to Government “to help make the construction industry even more effective”.

According to the statement, the FMBA has been involved since l961 in addressing concerns that affect the building industry.

It is a major player, with 15,000 employees, in helping to build the economy.

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