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 Post subject: Corruption had cost Rs. 150 billion to the country
 Post Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:08 am 
Corruption had cost Rs. 150 billion to the country

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The report presented to parliament by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in January 2007 disclosed that corruption and malpractice had risen to dizzy heights in 26 state institutions including the Bank of Ceylon, the Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.

Serious charges were levelled against the Central Bank. Some private companies are indebted for a sum of Rs 7000 million to the Central Bank. Mercantile Ltd. has evaded payment of Rs 5,780 million to the bank. The amount of non-performing loans granted by the bank was Rs. 13 billion, COPE said.

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was a monster devouring public funds. A CPC land of 8.2 acres in extent adjoining the harbor had been sold for Rs. 64 million through the PERC with the signature of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. In this transaction, there is a loss of over Rs. 65 billion. This amount is one-seventh or eighth of our national revenue. CPC has six hundred employees in excess of the approved cadre. Also, appointments of certain individuals into managerial vacancies had been shady and not in keeping with principles of good governance.

At the National Water Supplies and Drainage Board, there was wastage of 51 percent of running water. This wastage amounts to over Rs. 1700 million in public funds annually. The highest water wastage in the Asian region is reported in Sri Lanka. In Japan, this rate is only seven percent.

The mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) are apparent. The CEB debt position is around Rs. 15 billion. COPE findings revealed that the internal audit division had been weakened with a design to prevent the disclosure of corruption and misappropriations. Among the board of directors were those facing charges of various fraudulent dealings, not withstanding they remained in the board.

Non-performing loans amounting to Rs. 12 billion had not been recovered by Bank of Ceylon. Loans amounting to Rs. 314 million and overdrafts amounting to Rs. 300 million have been granted to International Grossers Alliances by obtaining security of only Rs. 40 million.


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