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Firms Face Penalties over Security Payments
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A group of construction firms in Nanjing face being barred from bidding for projects because of delays in depositing security payments for migrant workers.


The capital of east China's Jiangsu Province unveiled regulations in April stating that all 580 construction enterprises in the city should deposit a certain amount of money into a special bank account for the scheme.


It aims to ensure the companies have enough money to pay their migrant workers in case of an emergency.


Payments vary from 100,000 yuan (US$12,500) to 1 million (US$125,000), in accordance with the scale of the enterprises.


However, a report issued by the Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Construction on Monday showed that 173 firms had not deposited any money by the initial June 25 deadline. They have now been given a short reprieve.


"Those that hold off handing in the security payment by Friday will have their names exposed by the local media. We will also lower their credit rating, which might affect them when they are making a bid in the future," said an official, surnamed Xu, with the bureau.


"And those enterprises which still haven't handed in the money by the end of July will be deprived of their bidding eligibility for several months."


The new regulation has been praised by the public, especially migrant workers.


Some enterprises have claimed they are unable to deposit the money as they are awaiting payments from project investors, which has affected their capital flow.


"Therefore, the fundamental way to guarantee the rights of migrant workers is to regulate every party in the market, not only construction companies," said a manager working with the Nanjing No 3 Construction Company, who declined to give his name.


Nanjing, together with several other labor-intensive places, was among the first group of cities to adopt the regulation following directives issued by the State Council in March to ensure payments for migrant workers.


(China Daily June 28, 2006)

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