Apr 09, 2019

Minister, supporter demands 40m bribe for approval! Featured

A high ranking official in an institution engaged in granting approvals had demanded a bribe of Rs. 40 million to grant the approval for a contract to construct the massive cool storage facility in Dambulla.

Upon inquiry, Sri Lanka Mirror learnt that a leading politician is involved in this matter.

In 2016 it was decided to construct this cool storage facility but as nothing had been done the decision was taken by the Finance Ministry to hand it over to the private sector. The Cabinet approval for this purpose was received in November 2017.

While two state and private banks had agreed to invest Rs. 4 million in the construction of this cool storage facility, a local investor had commenced the construction of this facility.

Accordingly, the plan was to construct a 01 million foot storage facility in six months, minimising the electricity consumption through the use of solar power.

The farmers’ produce could be stored at this facility at a very minimal rate.

A globally accepted certificate would be issued for lime, tomatoes, upcountry vegetables etc which would be stored separately.

The farmers could produce the GRN receipt to obtain bank loans as well.

Accordingly, for every kilo of crops a charge of Rs. 1.25 would be charged per week, Rs. 5 per month and Rs. 10 for two months etc.

However, despite all other factors being completed for the construction of this facility, as the final approval has not been given yet, the commencement of construction has been delayed.