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Peliyagoda land to be sold to pay salaries of two state institutions!

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State Engineering Corporation (SEC) Chairman Rathnasiri Kalupahana said that a Cabinet paper has been prepared to sell a valuable land located in Peliyagoda belonging to the SEC for about 10 billion rupees.

He said that the land will be sold for the payment of employee salaries, arrears of salaries and arrears of EPF of the SEC and its affiliated National Equipment and Machinery Organization (NEMO).

The chairman said that it has been decided to sell a 17-acre, 2-rood, 17-perch land with a high urban value located next to the Peliyagoda Fish Market.

Mr. Kalupahana said this when inquired about the payment of mere Rs.7,000 to the NEMO employees for the month of May.

He said that due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country and the collapse of the construction sector, the salary payment to the employees of SEC and NEMO has become a serious issue due to the loss of income. He said steps have been taken to pay a part of the salary in this way from the money that received.

The chairman said that Rs.2,600 million will also be required to pay some 1,100 employees who are ready to retire voluntarily.

He said that the large-scale financial irregularities of NEMO and the recruitment of an excess of employees during the ‘Yahapalana’ Government have also led to the issues at the institution.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Kalupahana said that they have pointed out to the ministers in charge and the Ministry of Finance on several occasions that it is difficult to pay salaries to the employees of these institutions in the face of the current economic crisis.

“Not only the salaries, even the employee EPF and ETF allowances have not been paid for two years. Therefore, 1,100 employees are about to resign voluntarily. We made a request to the Treasury to compensate them. But the Treasury rejected our request and informed us that if our institution has any assets, it could be sold to pay compensation.”

“Accordingly, we prepared a Cabinet paper through Minister Prasanna Ranatunga to sell a valuable land adjacent to the Peliyagoda Fish Market and compensate the employees.”

“The current value of this land has been determined by the Government Valuation Department as between Rs.9 billion and 10 billion. There is also a two-storied building that was built during the tenure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, the construction was halted during the ‘Yahapalana’ Government and it has been abandoned now. If the building had been fully constructed, the value of this land would have increased even more.”

“Although President Ranil Wickremesinghe approved the Cabinet paper, the Lands Ministry Secretary informed us that it is not possible to implement the decision. This situation has become a major issue for us. Accordingly, following the intervention of Minister Ranatunga, the institution was taken over by the Ministry of Finance through a special gazette. This will be convenient for future activities,” he said.

Mr. Kalupahana said that a discussion will be held today (19) with Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe and a group of senior officials of the Finance Ministry to discuss and find solutions to these pressing issues.

Source – Aruna

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Policeman shoots himself dead

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A police sergeant shot himself near the Kotawila Court complex, using his service firearm.

The deceased is a 52-year-old sergeant attached to the Kotawila Police Station.He had killed himself at the police post of the Kotawila Court Complex after returning to work from a prolonged sick leave.

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Political parties to be briefed on Regulation of Election Expenditure Act

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The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has decided to brief all political parties on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act.

Chairman of the Commission – R. M. A. L. Ratnayake explained that the discussion will be held today (Feb. 27) and on March 06 as the upcoming elections will be the first to be held since the Act was passed.

According to the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act, all expenses incurred for the purpose of elections and campaigns must be limited, he noted.

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (Feb.26).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows:

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