A certain deputy minister who represents the Gampaha District takes a bribe of Rs.3.5 million from anyone putting up a filling station in the district, Parliament was informed today.
Western Provincial Council Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has made a written complaint to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard. A copy of the letter was tabled by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake today in the House to be included in the Hansard report.
Referring to the letter, Mr. Karunanayake asked how the financial performance of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) could be improved with a deputy minister taking cash inducements from businessmen operating filling stations. The UNP MP charged that the CPC had incurred heavy losses as a result of such acts.
“Today, fuel prices have dropped by 22 per cent in the world market. But, the CPC is not transferring to benefit the people. They may attribute it to the need to cover up heavy losses sustained in the past. But, we know that the CPC cannot do it merely because of corruption,” he said.
Mr. Karunanayake said that the Chief Minister had made this complaint in August to the President.
At this point, Government MP A.H.M. Azwer tried to interrupt Mr. Karunanayake on the pretext of raining a point of order.
“This is a letter communicated to the executive President by a chief minister. How can Mr. Karunanayake get hold of it? It has to be probed,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkodi who was presiding at the time said that if there were anything contrary to the Standing Orders, it would be expunged. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)