Construction sector in Kosovo on the brink of collapse

Construction sector in Kosovo on the brink of collapse

Pristina, August 1, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Bureaucratic procedures in issuing construction permits by local government is ruining construction sector, which since after the war, has been one of the main pillars of economic development in the country.

This was said on Friday during a conference organized by the Economic Chamber of Kosovo and Association of Constructors and producers of construction materials called ‘Current situation of the construction sector, barriers, challenges and consequences”.

Head of the Economic Chamber of Kosovo, Safet Gerxhaliu said that bureaucratic procedures for construction permits have become like a “cancer” for the economic development of the country.

“We’re witnesses of what the construction sector has been facing recently, the numerous challenges and these challenges have had a direct and indirect impact in the trends and performance of the Kosovar economy”, said Gerxhaliu.

He said that current blockades, be it of a bureaucratic nature, be it of other forms, have brought the sector of the production of construction materials on the brink of a collapse.

“As an economic chamber, we’re in favor of the rule of law, but rule of law cannot be imposed by blockades and by blocking the application  of the law. There cannot be a general approach to the sector. Construction permits and local government bureaucracy have become like a ‘cancer’ for the local economic development, not only in Pristina, but throughout the country”, added Gerxhaliu.

Meanwhile, Brahim Selimaj, head of the Association of Constructors and producers of construction materials in Kosovo, said that their demands are being ignored by local government officials, especially by the Commune of Pristina, where 70% of construction is concentrated.

As a result of the abovementioned barriers, over 20 thousand young people employed in the construction sector have remained unemployed, while trade of construction materials has fallen more than 50%. /ibna/