‘Construction Industry Development Board’ to be set up

Business Recorder

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, has decided to establish Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as an autonomous body, allegedly to “accommodate” one of the close friends of a top man in the Ministry as Chief Executive Officer(CEO), well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

The administrative control of the entity will be determined by consultation after its establishment and transferred accordingly. The Board will have a Chief Executive and Council, which according to Transparency International-Pakistan will result in cartelization like in other sectors.

A draft CIDB Bill 2020 has been prepared to initiate the legislation process for establishment of the entity. The government has recently announced incentives package for the construction sector which has been hailed by the construction industry.

The purpose of the CIDB is to promote, encourage, facilitate the private construction industry and to encourage investment in the infrastructure sector and to safeguard the investments already made therein and to provide a one window facility to industry participants.

The principal office of CIDB will be at Islamabad and it may establish regional offices at such other places in Pakistan, as it deems appropriate.

The Board may prescribe standards for the construction industry including but not limited to design, processes, construction techniques, products and material or as prescribed by the Executive Council from time to time.

The Board may register and maintain a roster of construction industry professionals including but not limited to project managers, executive engineers, 3rd party supervisor engineers for construction contracts, owner’s engineers, tradesmen, construction foremen, construction supervisors, pre-shipment inspection agents of suitable qualifications and experience with a view to raising standards of performance and delivery in construction services in Pakistan and regulating human resources.

The 16-member Executive Council shall consist of the following Members: (i) a nominee of the Prime Minister, Chairman, who shall be an eminent professional from the private sector and not falling within the scope of a public official (whether in the service of Pakistan and any of the Provinces or elected representative) ; (ii) Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Industry(Member/ Secretary); (iii) Secretary, Ministry of Railways, Pakistan or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary or equivalent- Member;(iv) Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary or equivalent- Member;(v) Secretary, Ministry of Communications or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary or equivalent- Member;(vi) Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Works or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary or equivalent- Member;(vii) nominee of the State Bank of Pakistan from the Banking Industry of Pakistan, not below the rank of Executive Vice President -Member;(viii) Member (Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity), Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan ;(ix) one nominee each of the Provincial Governments of the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan, from the respective Planning and Development Board Department not below BS-21 officer;(x) one woman eminent from the private sector belonging to academia, legal fraternity, management or chartered accountants, civil engineers etc, having 16 years of education and 10 years’ experience of relevant infrastructure industry to be nominated by the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission- Member;(xi) two nominees from each provincial Chapters of the Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP)- Member;(xii) one nominee of the Constructors Association of Member Pakistan (CAP) from Islamabad Capital, Territory- Member ;(xiii) two nominees of the Association of Consulting Member Engineers Pakistan (ACEP)- Member ;(xiv) one nominee of the Association from the Cement Member Manufacturing Sector registered with the DG Trade Organization-Member and ;(xv) one nominee of the Association from the Steel Re-Rolling Sector registered with the DG Trade Organization -Member .

According to Transparency International-Pakistan (TI-P) Regulatory functions of Engineering Industry are already assigned to Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) which was established through Act of Parliament in 1976, and since last 44 years PEC has been regulating the engineering profession and it comprises of engineers from all segments of engineering profession in Pakistan.

It further says that the proposed Bill for CIDB will result in legal, financial and regulatory violations with major losses to government exchequer through highest level corruption due to many articles proposed in the CIDB bill.

TI-P is of the view that already the cartelization of sugar, wheat, power sector has resulted in major losses to the Pakistani economy and now formation of this new cartel for construction industry is anticipated to destroy the whole Engineering industry just to enrich the few elite contractors of CAP with political connections at the highest echelons of power in Islamabad who are using the government offices of Planning Commission and MoS&T to bulldoze this cartelization through an Ordinance.

TI-P further says CIDB will not be able to function as a neutral regulatory body for engineering profession, as majority of its members may comprise of non engineers, e.g. owner of construction firms, government officers nominated etc.

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