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Parliament passes construction bill aimed at regulating sector

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Construction workers attend to their duties at a site in the capital. KT/Siv Channa

In a bid to improve safety standards at construction sites, the National Assembly yesterday passed the Law on Construction, which aims to further regulate the Kingdom’s booming construction sector.

It follows the construction building collapse in Sihanoukville in August that killed 28 people and injured 26 others, which resulted in at least four investors being charged for failing to meet technical standards.

CPP lawmakers yesterday voiced support to pass the law during a plenary session presided over by National Assembly President Heng Samrin to debate its contents.

The law contains 22 chapters and 111 articles aiming to improve management of the Kingdom’s construction sector, enhance sustainable development and protect the interests of owners and users of construction sites. Its contents also aim to punish investors who cause deaths and injuries.

Article 90 stipulates that investors who break the law will receive warning letters. If they fail to improve, construction licences and permits could be suspended, buildings could be demolished and they could face fines and even imprisonment.

Articles 93 to 102 states that those found guilty of not following technical standards and lacking permits could be jailed between one month to 15 years and be fined between $4,000 to $15,000.

The law will now be sent to the Senate for approval and then the Constitutional Council of Cambodia for review.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap yesterday said he regrets the deaths of the people in the Sihanoukville building collapse.

Mr Yeap said development in the Kingdom has boomed and the Law on Construction is needed to strengthen the sector.

“Contents of the draft law will play important roles to strengthen law enforcement when they come into force,” he said.

Chheang Vun, another CPP lawmaker, said he is confident that once implemented, the Law on Construction will help strengthen law enforcement in the sector.

“When our law is weak, we can’t solve problems for our people. There is no guarantee in the construction sector, because we have seen accidents in the past,” Mr Vun said. “When this law comes into force, it will solve problems for construction workers and everyone in the sector.”

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara yesterday said the Law on Construction aims to increase accountability in the sector.

“The draft Law on Construction enhances accountability and effective management in the construction sector to build trust in investors and push the real estate market,” Mr Sophara said, adding that once promulgated into law, the ministry will disseminate it to government officials, investment companies and students.

Chiv Sivpheng, general manager of the Cambodia Construction Association, said he welcomed the law.

Mr Sivpheng added that the Law on Construction is needed to improve the quality of buildings in the Kingdom.

“On behalf of us in the private sector, we congratulate the passing of the draft Law on Construction because it will regulate companies or constructors who do not meet technical standards,” he said.

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