Approving power projects - Yahapalana minister paid Rs.500 Mn as commission: CEB

24 June 2020 07:20 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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 A Cabinet minister of the yahapalana government has been paid Rs.500 million by way of commission by investors who funded a solar power generation project in Sri Lanka, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman Vijitha Herath claimed yesterday.

However, he refused to disclose the name of the project or that of the minister who was alleged to have been paid this money to approve this particular project though the journalists insisted that the name be revealed.

Mr. Herath said he took full responsibility with regard to this allegation. He told the media that the CEB would phase out thermal power generation by 2025 with the commissioning of several LNG, Coal, Wind, Solar power projects and several other renewable energy plants.

Responding to the Daily Mirror Mr. Herath said though the power generation plan envisaged to commission LNG power plants with the installed capacity of 1,300 MWs, the CEB would not be in a position to stop purchasing power from Independent Power Providers (IPP) though it leads to corruption among CEB officials and politicians.

Mr. Herath said among the new power plants expected to be commissioned before the end of 2020 are the Mannar wind power plants with 130 MWs and the two LNG power plants at Kelaniya and Kerawalapitiya. He said discussions were ongoing on constructing the phase-4 of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant (LCPP) with the installed capacity of 300 MWs and the proposal to add another coal power plant at LCPP came from the Chinese company that built the three phases of the plant.

Mr. Herath said it was not an unsolicited request from China but from the Sri Lankan government. Responding to a question on the payment of Rs.17 million to a lawyer to prepare the draft of the agreement, Mr. Herath said the CEB has only paid him Rs.6 million and further payments would be made to the lawyers as and when the terms and conditions of the agreement were drafted.

With regard to why the CEB had not reduced tariff when the fuel prices had dropped in the global market, he said the Rs.200 billion Petroleum Stabilization Fund (PSF) fund was more beneficial to the economy and the people because the fund has made it easier for the government to keep the prices of consumer goods, transport fare and fuel prices stable and pay Rs.5,000 to six million families a month during the past two months.

Mr. Herath said the CEB would be turned into a profit-making venture with the commissioning of the coal, solar, wind and renewable power plants with an installed capacity of some 1,750 MWs by 2025 with the government being able to reduce price of electricity price by mid 2021. CEB General Manager Keerthi Karunaratne also attended the news briefing.

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  Comments - 14

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  • D Perera Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:38 AM

    Are these legally entitled payments? If not, has CEB lodge a complaint to bribery commission?

    Hair M Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:43 AM

    People of Srilanka should know this can’t go. Country is being destroyed by both main party politicians and you keep electing them. Both protecting each other while looting with impunity. As in west both the minister and the company should be charged for corruption

    CEB worker Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:56 AM

    What is the commission he got for his statement?

    Neville Gunasekara Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:59 AM

    This claim is worse than the claim by Karuna Amman and deserves thorough investigation.

    Sambo Wednesday, 24 June 2020 08:01 AM

    Every minister is working for commissions as if he or she is paying the money from their pockets and these are the politicians who pledges so much on political stages.

    daya weerasinghe Wednesday, 24 June 2020 08:04 AM

    Why not conplain to bribery commission and bring the culprits to book. I dont understand the rationale in mentioning this at a media conwferance. The only thing I can see is trying to gain cheap political milage.

    Lal Wednesday, 24 June 2020 08:07 AM

    MR. HERATH HOW MUCH COMMISSION CASH YOU GOT? INFORM THIS MATTER AFTER SO MANY YEARS?? NOW YOU ALSO QUALIFIED AS A POLITICIAN. EACH AND EVERYONE INFORM THE MATTER AFTER SO MANY YEARS. THIS ONE ALSO SOME VIRUS OK WE CAN SAY POL. VIRUS

    RK Wednesday, 24 June 2020 05:16 PM

    During the Yahapalana Govt. a number of Ministers held the Power Ministry portfolio. Was it the one who appears often with an innocent looking face the culprit in this case?

    Smart Alec Wednesday, 24 June 2020 05:46 PM

    This is typical "Sri Lankan Yahapalanaya". It won't be sent for inquiry to the Bribery Commission but will be referred to one of those "Commissions" .

    roshan de saram Wednesday, 24 June 2020 06:14 PM

    Electrcirty generation through solar and wind, renewables, are the cheapest way today in the world. President is a visionarier to set a target of 80% electricity generation from renewable energy by 2030 that is to lower cost of electricity to consumers. But then these intellectuals make statements without studying the President Goal. Technically building coal and combine cycle power plants prevents renewable power plant additions and are opposite to President Target of achieving low cost generation.

    Joshua Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:28 PM

    A slpp statement for election....nothing in the statement.

    Consumer Wednesday, 24 June 2020 07:59 PM

    IS IT A WILD ALLEGATION BY THE CEB CHAIRMAN OR IF NOT,IS THE MATTER ENDING THERE WITHOUT EVEN THE PRESIDENT ORDERING A PROBE ?

    Kumar Wednesday, 24 June 2020 09:36 PM

    Unless you name names and some evidence your allegation are useless. All you guys are in the same game. Hell has to freeze over to make CEB a profit making venture. Politicians have made the CEB into a job bank.

    Sam Thursday, 25 June 2020 12:08 AM

    Forget about comm. CEB has many qualified engineers what is their out put still coming up with expensive ideas. We can have Several wind power plants as country is a island . Also solar units cuz of the climate . But we still supply hydro power to Jaffna


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