Most executors of infrastructure development programmers and builders of real estate, i.e. the construction companies in India, are under the umbrella of the over-seven-decades-old Builders' Associa-tion of India (BAI). BAI is the only all India apex representative body of civil engineering construction companies. BAI was founded in 1941 under the guidance and blessings of Brig. C.V.S. Jackson of Military Engineering Services, 'Poona', now known as 'Pune', who suggested that builders working under his command, form a body for finding solutions to various problems. He went further and made available a piece of land inside the premises of Southern Command Headquarters in Pune, on which an office was con¬structed and aptly named 'Jackson Hut', which stands even today as a monument in BAI’s name.
During this journey of over 80 years, BAI's membership has grown from 250 members spread over 3 Centres, to more than 20,000 plus direct members spread over about 200 plus Centres across the length and breadth of the country. Various regional associations affiliated to BAI, add another 1,50,000 indirect members.
Throughout its more than seven decades of existence, BAI has had its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, moments of strengths and weakness, moments of glory and disappointment. But, its umbrella has protected and furthered the cause of the Indian con¬struction industry and its constituents in many ways:
- BAI has been instrumental for incorporation of Price Variation Clause in contract documents of various works authorities.
- BAI is propagating adoption of a 'unified standard equitable contract document', based on FIDIC conditions by all works authorities.
- BAI was' instrumental in starting National Institute of Construc¬tion Management and Research (NICMAR), which has estab¬lished campuses at Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad and is soon likely to get the status of a deemed university.
- BAI started Overseas Construction Council of India (OCCI) now known as Project Export Promotion Council of India (PEPCI), which through its members, initiated manpower export to Gulf counties and brought in a lot of foreign remittance. PEPCI is now actively pursuing project exports in its various formats under the aegis of Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
- In the matter of Sales Tax on Works Contracts, consequent to 46th Amendment to Constitution, all State Governments were interpreting such amendments to suit their revenue requirements. BAI filed a Writ Petition and the Supreme Court correctly ex¬plained the powers of State Governments pursuant to the 46th amendment and cleared all uncertainties and doubts.
- Fighting relentlessly against the applicability of the Provident Fund provisions to the casual and temporary construction workers, BAI has been petitioning the govt. to see reason and has been suggesting ways and means to successfully imple¬ment the Provident Fund provisions in such a way that intended benefit reaches the casual and temporary construction workers, who are mostly illiterate and mainly migratory in nature. A Gov¬ernment of India-formed sub-committee has seen reason in BAI's line of thinking and the Central Provident Fund Commis¬sioner is expected to come out with a comprehensive work¬able solution.
- Filed number of writs at various High Courts in the country on issues like VAT, Entry Tax, Service Tax, Sand Dredging, Labour Welfare Cess etc.
- BAI galvanized the builders and contractors into raising their voice, when cement and steel prices went through the sky, arising out of cartelization by the respective manufacturers. Proper presentation of facts at appropriate forums, arrested the galloping prices.
- BAI filed petition before the Competition Commission of India on the cartelisation of Cement Manufacturers. The Hon’ble Competition Commission have penalised Cement Manufacturers Rs.6,307 Crore and asked them to deposit the same before them. This is the highest penalty ever levied by Indian judicial system.
- Through its monthly journal, 'Indian Construction', the only one of its kind, which is in its 66th year of publication, BAI pro¬vides latest and useful information to its members throughout the country. It contains useful statistical information, legal notes, book reviews and expert opinions on latest technological developments in construction industry.
- BAI is an affiliate of the International Federation of Asia and Western Pacific Contractors' Association (IFAWPCA). IFAWPCA in turn is affiliated to Confederation of International Contrac-tors' Associations (CICA), the world body of contractors and builders. While IFAWPCA has a consultative organisation sta¬tus with Asian Development Bank, CICA has a similar status with the World Bank.
- BAI has a seat as an observer to the Annual Meetings of Asian Development Bank.
- BAI is also affiliated to many national organizations, directly or indirectly connected to the construction industry. This facilitates exchange of thoughts, ideas and views.
- BAI has been given representative status in many committees of Central and various State Governments, which decide policies on taxation, labour laws, environment, etc.
- BAI is one of the founder member of Construction Industry Development Council (formed by Planning Commission).
- BAI representative is included in the Working Group on Construction in the formulation of Twelth Year Plan (2012-2017).
- BAI is one of the promoters of Construction Skill Development Council of India (CSDCI) formed under the National Skill Development Corporation, constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office for encouraging the skill upgradation of unskilled workers.
- BAI obtained 'Stay' order restraining the E.S.I. Department taking action against contractors on coverage of Employees’ State Insurance Scheme to the construction workers. BAI is also instrumental in ESIC issuing circular No.T.11/13/11/03/2015 Rev. II dated 26/09/2018, exempting construction site workers from the purview of the provisions of ESIC act.