Connect with us

News

3000% difference between estimated & purchased prices when purchasing animals – COPA

Published

on

During the period from 2018 to 2020, the Committee on Public Accounts disclosed that although the estimated amount for some birds was around 50000 rupees, they were purchased for around 1.5 million rupees. Thus, it was disclosed that the amount purchased is about 3000% more than the estimated amount.

In this procurement, due to the condition that the supplier should supply 32 types of birds, the Committee drew attention to the loss of nearly 17 million rupees as the birds had to be purchased at higher price.

This was disclosed at the Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Hon. Lasantha Alagiyawanna in Parliament as the Committee met on 05.07.2023 to examine the Auditor General’s report and current performance of the Department of National Zoological Gardens.

The Committee emphasized that it was problematic to have such a large difference between the estimated cost and the actual cost of this purchase. The Committee questioned at length why there was such a high gap between the estimated cost and the actual cost given that the department has an understanding of the subject and the market context. Therefore, the COPA Chair emphasized that a report should be given on this and an internal circular should be issued in future emphasizing the need for an accurate assessment.

The Committee emphasized the need for an urgent amendment to the Act as matters including the incorporation of the new zoological parks in to the Act.

COPA Chair directed to complete the work within the next month post coordination with the Compilation Department and submit a report on this before August 5th, 2023.

The need for proper classification of the income of the Zoological Department was pointed out at the Committee meeting held. Accordingly, the Auditor General instructed that the income from tickets and other activities should be presented separately.

As it is observed that there is no proper program for the conservation of endangered animals, the Committee Chair informed that the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Department of National Zoological Gardens should jointly appoint a committee and prepare a program. The need to regularly update the information on endangered animals in the country as per the IUCN Red Data Book was also pointed out. Accordingly, it was emphasized that a comprehensive national survey should be conducted in this regard.

Attention was drawn to the issues at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Wagolla Pinnawala Zoo and Ridiyagama Safari Park. Out of 900 animals in the Ridiyagama Safari Park, 485 animals were either male or female and were not identified. It was revealed that more than 300 of these animals are star tortoises brought from India and are under the custody of the zoo until the case is over. Moreover, the Committee Chair instructed to fill vacancies as soon as possible as there is only one vet in this safari park.

Moreover, since the institute does not have a proper strategic plan, he also instructed to prepare a new plan for the year 2024-2030 and complete its work by December 31 of this year.

Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Leader of the Opposition was present on permission of the Committee. Sate Minister Diana Gamage, Hon. Chamara Sampath Dasanayake, Hon. Kader Mastan, Members of Parliament Hon. Ashok Abeysinghe, Hon. Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Hon. Niroshan Perera, Hon. J. C. Alawathuwala, Hon. Hector Appuhamy, Hon. Jayantha Ketagoda, Hon. Isuru Dodangoda, Hon. (Dr.) Major Pradeep Undugoda, Hon. Weerasumana Weerasinghe and Hon. (Dr.) (Ms.) Harini Amarasuriya were present at the Committee meeting held.

News

“14.3% Surge in new HIV infections in 2023, reveals national program”

Published

on

By

The National Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention Program states that the reporting of new HIV infections has increased by 14.3 percent.

This is higher in 2023 compared to 2022, director, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, community medicine specialist said.
She said that last year, 694 new HIV infected people were identified, most of them were men, and the number is 611, which as percentage is 88%. Last year, 81 HIV infected women were reported, which is 11.7 percent as a percentage. It is also
reported that there are 4100 infected people in society.

Continue Reading

News

Sri Lanka to Host Digital Economy Summit in July

Published

on

By

The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, announced that the anticipated National Cyber Security Act will be introduced this year, followed by the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority.

Additionally, the State Minister underscored the preparations made for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka by the end of July. The summit serves as a platform for fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in digital technologies, thus propelling the country towards a more resilient and prosperous digital economy.

Speaking at a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (29),

State Minister Herath further said;

The digital economy, which previously stood at 4.73%, has now surpassed the 5% mark, indicating significant growth.

This expansion has notably bolstered the country’s overall economic resilience. To further enhance this momentum, preparations are underway for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka at the end of July. The summit aims to attract both local and foreign investors, with collaborative efforts from foreign embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Investment Promotion facilitating this initiative.

Furthermore, a sum of Rs. 50 million derived from the profits of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) was allocated to the treasury in the previous year. In line with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal, a new initiative has been launched to uplift small and medium-sized industrialists, who constitute 52% of the country’s economy. This endeavour seeks to empower such enterprises technologically, offering them Good manufacturing practice (GMP) and SLSI certifications. Additionally, plans are underway to facilitate access to low-interest loans through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the ultimate goal of guiding these small and medium-sized industrialists into the market.

(dailynews.lk)

Continue Reading

News

SC quashes Cabinet decision granting Paget Road residence to Maithripala

Published

on

By

The Supreme Court on Thursday (29 Feb.) quashed the Cabinet decision allowing former President Maithripala Sirisena to occupy his official residence at Paget Road in Colombo 07 even after he left office.

Accordingly, the court stated that an order will be issued invalidating the Cabinet decision taken on 15 October 2019 in this regard.

The relevant court order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, with the concurrence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, upon consideration of a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

The petition further sought a court order stating that former President Sirisena had violated several fundamental rights of the public by taking decisions pertaining to his own privileges and rights during his tenure as the President, thereby making him the head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Announcing the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena highlighted that the relevant Cabinet decision made by Sirisena was, in fact, unlawful, given that he was both, the President and the head of the Cabinet of Ministers at the time the decision in question was taken.

In their petition, the CPA and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu claimed that the residence in question is of great financial value to the country, and thereby stated that such an allocation for a former President was irrational, illegal and arbitrary, and also violated several fundamental rights of the country’s citizens including that of the right to equality.

(adaderana.lk)

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Sri Lanka Mirror. All Rights Reserved