Connect with us

News

COPE finds Karunanayaka influenced Lotteries Board procurement causing losses

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake had influenced the procurement process of the National Lotteries Board, which was under the purview of the Foreign Ministry, during the yahapalana government, it was revealed during a probe by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE).

The COPE, on Friday, found that a tender for the procurement as regards the printing of scratch lotteries in 2017 had been suspended by the Cabinet decision at the request of the then Foreign Minister.

 Even though the then Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera had made an observation that suspending the tender was not right, the Cabinet had decided to do so

 The COPE met in the Parliamentary complex under the chairmanship of Prof. Charitha Herath to look into matters to the Procurement on the Print and Delivery of Lottery Tickets of National Lotteries Board, found that the tender for the printing of scratch lottery tickets due to be awarded to Aqua Flex Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., had been stopped. That Cabinet decision had been made under the influence of Print Care Secure (Pvt) Ltd., and it had caused a huge financial loss to the National Lotteries Board. It had not been possible to call for a new tender for the printing of relevant lottery tickets until 2020.

Sources said that it had also been revealed that the annual reports of the National Lotteries Board for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 had not been submitted to Parliament. Accordingly, the COPE called for a probe into the matter.

 The COPE also observed that there had been a large number of vacancies in the executive posts of the National Lotteries Board over the years and COPE chairman directed the relevant officials to fill them expeditiously.

 The Committee pointed out that the National Lotteries Board had spent Rs. 609 million in 2016, Rs. 453 million in 2017, Rs. 506 million in 2018 and Rs. 530 million in 2019 on printing lottery tickets.

The COPE recommended that the procurement process of the institution should be carried out in a more systematic manner and that the process of printing lottery tickets should be properly regulated.

It was revealed that the company had not yet received the amount of US $ 26,000 due from the ‘’Colombo Airport Super draw’’ and the lottery draw process of ‘’Dollar Fortune’’ was not transparent. Therefore, the committee also recommended that the process be streamlined.

Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Sarath Weerasekera, State Ministers Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Susil Premajayantha, MPs Jagath Pushpakumara , Eran Wickramaratne, Nalin Bandara, Patali Champika Ranawaka, S.M. Marikkar, Premanath C. Dolawatta , Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S.R Attygalle, National Lotteries Board Chairman Attorney at Law Lalith Piyum Perera and a number of officials were present at the Friday meeting.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

UNDP: Rs 600 bn tax cut a huge mistake

Published

on

Director of the Sustainable Finance Hub of the UNDP Marcos Neto has called the decision to do away with a range of taxes here a fundamental mistake committed by Sri Lanka.The comment was made at the Parliament complex during an interactive dialogue on ‘Revenue Generation as a Pathway to Sri Lanka’s Economic Recovery’ on Tuesday (09). It was organised on a request by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, former Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Opposition as well as several other parties alleged that the government had lost as much as Rs 600 bn due to the controversial decision to do away with a range of taxes including PAYE, NBT (Nation Building Tax), Withholding tax, Capital Gain tax imposed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, Bank Debit tax and unprecedented reduction of VAT (Value Added Tax). The 15% VAT and the 2% NBT which amounted to 17% imposed on all goods and services were unified and reduced to 8%, effective from the first of December 2019.

The decision was taken at the first Cabinet meeting of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government on 27 Nov. 2019.Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe is on record as having said that the powers that be ignored the IMF warning not to do so and also the immediate need to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt (SF)

Continue Reading

News

Debate on power tariff hike on 29 Aug.

Published

on

Party leaders have decided to debate the electricity tariff hikes in parliament on 29 August.The date was fixed for the debate following a request by the main opposition SJB.The debate will be held from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm on 29 August.

Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament on Wednesday (10) that as per the proposed tariff hike the monthly electricity bill of domestic consumers would increase by 75 percent to 125 percent. “This is unbearable. This is like sending the people to an electric chair while they are struggling to make ends meet amidst a massive increase in cost of living.

How does this government expect people would be able to pay such an exorbitant price for electricity? We demand a debate in parliament before this proposed tariff hike is implemented,” Kiriella said.

Continue Reading

News

British national to be deported

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Department of Immigration and Emigration has ordered Kayleigh Fraser, a British national whose passport has been taken into custody after she posted on social media anti-government protests, for violating her visa conditions, to leave the country by 15 August. The Department has already cancelled her visa.

Earlier this month Immigration and Emigration officials visited Fraser at her home and took her passport into custody. The Department said Fraser had been in Sri Lanka for medical reasons since 2019. She had returned home several times, it said.

The Immigration and Emigration officers told her to visit them within the next seven days.Fraser on 02 August said that a group of immigration officers had visited her and asked for her travel document. She said that officials told her that they would return her passport when she visited the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Fraser added that she had received an anonymous call asking her to leave Sri Lanka as soon as possible before facing ‘big problems.’ Immigration officials visited her house a few days after the call.

Fraser has shared a number of photographs and videos from the ‘Gota Go Gama’ site. Human Rights groups and activists have accused the Sri Lankan government of using Emergency regulations to harass and arbitrarily detain activists seeking political reform and accountability for the country’s economic crisis.

Continue Reading

Trending