Roads Co. Withholds Suppliers' Pay Over State Budget Impasse

This is the first time in a decade that the Israel National Roads Company won't be paying suppliers on time.

The Israel National Roads Company won't be paying its suppliers because it didn't receive its full budget for next month from the Finance Ministry, it stated Thursday. This is the first time in a decade that the government company won't be paying suppliers on time. Its suppliers include contractors and planning offices.

Because the 2013 budget was never passed, the government is now operating on monthly budgets based on the 2012 budget. But the infrastructure company's expenses in 2013 are slated to be hundreds of millions of shekels higher than they were in 2012. Now, it looks like it intends to let the small contractors pay.

In its letter, the roads company apologized and promised it would "do everything" to work out matters with the government. In the meantime, the suppliers can expect their money only once the roads company sees its full budget, it said. Its budget was NIS 5.5 billion last year. This year it is slated to be NIS 6.1 billion.

The company declined to respond.

This could be particularly tough for small contractors, many of whom are dependent on their monthly payments from the state utility.

David Bachar