The Construction Association of Bhutan was institutionalised in January 25, 2000 under the auspicious Chair of the Hon’ble President of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji took the rein of the Association as the first President elect, securing 149 votes out of the 189 votes cast under the secret ballot, amongst the seven (7) competing candidate nominees. By July 2002, the Association had a full-fledged Secretariat established in the capital, Thimphu.
History of CAB’s Inception
Under the aegis of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), a regional forum for private sector development in the seven SAARC countries, SAARC Council for Construction Industry (SAARC-CCI) was established in 1999 as a regional forum for development & promotion of construction industry of the SAARC countries at national, regional & international level. The SAARC-CCI notified Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), a member federation in the SCCI, in November 1999 for representation in the council’s 1st meeting scheduled in December 1999 at Khatmandu, Nepal. In the absence of construction association in Bhutan, BCCI in its 54th Executive Committee Meeting on November 29, 1999 decided to call all Class-A contractors in Bhutan for a meeting within December 15, 1999 to discuss the issue. All Class-A contractors met on December 14, 1999 under the Chairmanship of BCCI’s President and came up with unanimous decision to form “Contractors Association of Bhutan” as a forum to address specific problems and policies related to Bhutanese construction industry at national and regional level. Consequently, resolution was passed by the floor, to call general meeting of all Class A, B & C contractors in January 2000 to discuss “modalities for institution of Contractors Association of Bhutan” Subsequently, all Class A, B & C contractors met on January 25, 2000 in Thimphu in the conference hall of BCCI. In the meeting members were apprised of the need for forming an association for the benefit of construction industry. It was also highlighted that recently Royal Government felt the need of such association for effective representation. The floor reached a unanimous consensus for establishment of “Contractors Association of Bhutan” to address specific problems and policy issues related to Bhutanese construction industry at national, regional and international level, and endorsed the decision to establish the association.
On January 25, 2000 Contractors Association of Bhutan was established for the development & promotion of Bhutanese construction industry. Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji took the rein of the Association as the first President elect. In 2002 on October 10-11 in its 3rd Annual General Meeting, the General Body approved change of name from Contractors Association to Construction Association for meaningful representation and wider coverage of the related industrial entities under the construction sector.
Subsequently, on 30th April, 2012, the association was officially registered as Public Benefit Organization under the Civil Society Organizations Act of Bhutan, 2007.
- CAB is in continuous dialogue and interaction with various government agencies to streamline the procurement procedure in order to provide fair opportunity and level playing field for all Bidders.
- CAB has been instrumental in maintaining the status quo of Mobilization Advance at 10% which was contended to be reduced to 5%. Similarly, upon timely intervention from CAB, the defect liability period is being maintained at 12 months for normal projects against 36 months.
- CAB was instrumental for incorporation of Price Variation Clause in contract documents of various works authorities. Small works has also been brought under the scope of deviation clause which will be reflected in the revised PRR.
- CAB is promulgating adoption of a ‘unified standard equitable contract document’, based on PRR by all procuring agencies.
- With constant correspondence & intervention from CAB, payment clause to ensure timely payment has been incorporated within the SBD. CAB is also regularly monitoring the compliance of the same by the Procuring Agencies.
- CAB initiated the annual Construction Fair, the largest of its kind in the country from the year 2017.
- Through its Construction Directory (bi-annual Publication), CAB provides consolidated list of contractors, consultants & suppliers in the construction industry. Useful statistical information, litigation in construction, technical information and latest technological developments in construction industry are disseminated via the publication.
- CAB is an affiliate member of the International Federation of Asia and Western Pacific Contractors’ Association (IFAWPCA). IFAWPCA in turn is affiliated to Confederation of International Contractors’ Associations (CICA), the world body of contractors and builders. While IFAWPCA has a consultative organisation status with Asian Development Bank, CICA has a similar status with the World Bank.
- CAB is also affiliated to many national organizations, directly or indirectly connected to the construction industry. This facilitates exchange of thoughts, ideas and views.
- CAB has been given representative status in many committees of Governments, which decide policies on economic development, procurement, taxation, labour laws, environment, etc. CAB has representative as board members to the board of the IFAWPCA, CDB & BCCI. CAB has representative in the oversight committee such as the Independent Review Body, Debarment Committee etc.
- CAB was part of the working committee for drafting the Economic Development Policy (EDP) 2016
- CAB had representative as taskforce member in the drafting committee of the Bhutan Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Regulations 2018.
- Similarly, CAB is included in the drafting committee of the National Construction Industry Policy
- With the formulation of the MoU with the RICBL, the commission levied on performance guarantee by RICBL has been reduced with the introduction of new slab system for amount between 50million-100million and amount beyond 100 million @ 1.5% pa and 0.75% pa respectively.
- CAB facilitates Bhutanese Contractors to attend the IFAWPCA Convention in various member country (currently on self-financed basis) by providing visa process support, arrangement of accommodation and logistics. As of 2018 Bhutanese contractors have attended the Convention in Korea & Malaysia. In November, 2018, 33 team delegates from Bhutan attended the Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- CAB is collectively pursuing the CSR in Construction Industry and constantly advocating the same to the various stakeholders in construction sector.
- CAB is also in constant dialogue with the Govt. and other stakeholders to tackle issues and find solutions to problems related to realistic project duration, realistic cost estimate, unreasonable HR/Equipment requirements and other pertinent issues related to construction industry.
- CAB is making a difference for the construction business through advocacy with a collective voice.
The board policy objectives of the Association for development and promotion of Construction Industry are stated as:
- “Development” through identifying, facilitating and assisting construction industry in business, information and technology development: and
- “Promotion” through assessing, monitoring and assisting the needs, performance and problems of the construction industry.
“To develop and promote the Bhutanese construction industry and to represent the Bhutanese construction industry at national, regional and international level”
“To foster the growth of the member contractors to achieve excellence and become world class providers of all services in the construction sector”