Jan 04, 2017

How coal mafia swallowed Rs. 4,000 million Featured

A detailed audit report into the coal purchasing deal tabled in Parliament on December 30 says the country had lost Rs. 4,145 million as a result of the corrupt transaction.

Despite the revelation, the power and energy ministry is reportedly preparing to purchase more coal this weekend or next week under the same deal, that will lose a similar amount of money to the country, the Anti Corruption Front told the media in Colombo today (04).

ACF consultant Keerthi Tennakoon said the auditor general’s report notes the calling for tenders and procurement should take place in such a manner that the government profits from the price fluctuations.

Technically qualified suppliers should be registered annually and competitive bids called to make spot purchases, it also says.

Furthermore, it recommends that measures should be taken to improve competitiveness in the procurement process by overcoming its various shortcomings.

The AG’s report makes several conclusions, including that the officials who had caused the loss to the state should be identified and the procurement process made more organized to prevent recurrences.

It goes onto say that the various ministries, state entities and the committees appointed have failed to act with due professional care when making the coal purchases.

CaFFE writes to president

At the briefing, the media was given copies of the AG’s recommendations and a letter sent by CaFFE to president Maithripala Sirisena informing him about the latest attempt to purchase coal under the same corrupt deal.

After the media reported about the letter to the president, ministry secretary Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda hastened to issue a press release saying the coal purchasing tender procedure has been made more organized.

CaFFE charged that his press release had tried to negate the facts given in the AG’s report, in order to pave the way for the continuation of the corrupt deal.