TIME TO LICENSE SMALL BUILDING CONTRACTORS

(L-R, Vijay Naidu (Secretary), Vijay Raghwan (President) and Steven Chand (Vice President) discussing concerns facing the association. Photo: SUPPLIED.

The Fiji Master Builders Association (FMBA) has expressed its concern about the growing number of small building contractors who have exploited those wanting to build or upgrade their homes.

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

Mr. Raghwan was supported in the association’s concern by Premila Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Council of Fiji who reported that the council has received 56 complaints this year relating to “poor quality workmanship, absconding builders and delays in job completion,” costing consumers $1,797,797.

“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.

Mr. Raghwan said that 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.”

Fiji Master Builders Association 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.