Secretary justifies lavish tour for CEB officials

30 October 2015 02:54 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The lavish Rs.10.4 million training tour to Austria for eleven senior CEB officials that caused so much controversy for misusing state funds was justified by the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, who explained that it was not public funds that were spent on the programme.

Ministry Secretary, Dr. Suren Batagoda, who vehemently denied that the six-day training tour to Vienna, Austria to be held from November 9 to 13, was a case of misusing State funds, said that the CEB was a commercial organization and no public funds would be wasted in the exercise.

The Daily Mirror last week exposed the story of how ten senior Engineers and an accountant of the CEB were planning to go on an expensive training programme on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to be held in Vienna, Austria despite a recent government circular to minimize the use of state funds.

Although there were enough and more facilities to hold this programme in Colombo for a sum of USD 100 per trainee, the necessity to undertake such an expensive foreign visit, even though it was a training tour, had raised many eyebrows.

When asked about the necessity to have an expensive foreign training when ample local facilities were available here Dr. Batagoda was of the view that their officials should be given the opportunity to explore the world and learn new things instead of remaining here like 'frogs stuck in a well'.

The Secretary, who also justified the fact that three senior officials included in the list were set to retire from the beginning of 2016, said it was the practice of the CEB to arrange such trips for officials after taking into account their long service to the board.

The course fee alone would cost the CEB a minimum of Rs.10.4 million while the expenditure on air tickets and a personal allowance of USD 2, 500 would also add to the expenses, it was revealed. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)
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  Comments - 10

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  • willows Friday, 30 October 2015 04:33 PM

    OK now we will have cheap electricity as these guys are going to revolutionize the CEB? good for them bad for us

    Sincere Friday, 30 October 2015 04:52 PM

    But when they get into those cool rooms, they think that its their cars and their petrol!

    Treehorse Friday, 30 October 2015 09:33 AM

    What could be the outcome of the training ? Improved Power capacity planning or whether we would be stick stuck in the middle ages? Following the training, what is the plan to implement what you have learnt? Dont make this another junket please. Goverment is selling bonds to raise money for the upcoming budget and you guys are enjoying. Very nice Sri Lanka !!

    ANTON Friday, 30 October 2015 09:40 AM

    WE HAVE EXPERTS IN SLSI AND NIBM TO CONDUCT TRAINING PROGRAMS ON KPI (KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS)........ AY A GOLLO KALUDA ???

    Bala Friday, 30 October 2015 09:44 AM

    CEB funds are state funds - any CEB funds are from consumers who will get more service if the funds are not misspent. They will have to answer to COPE and other new inquiring authorities.

    sene Friday, 30 October 2015 09:50 AM

    Dr.SB, You seems to be unaware of the meaning of public funds and Commercial organizations, remember both these belong to those who pay for electricity.A clear case that there is only one frog in this well

    Nilantha Friday, 30 October 2015 02:31 PM

    The CEB is a STATE OWNED ENTERPRISE (i.e. accountable to the Tax Payers!!!)

    Don Friday, 30 October 2015 09:56 AM

    The whole country is full of frogs in wells, drains and caves.

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 30 October 2015 10:00 AM

    The CEB is bankrupt and makes a daily loss of 167m due to mismanagement where the deficit is supported by the treasury in writing of its continuous recurring losses. The money in the treasury is public money. Under such circumstances, does the Sec justify this arrogant statement?

    Sincere Friday, 30 October 2015 10:25 AM

    Ok Ok. But do not include that cost of lavish tours into our electricity bill. Then it will not be lavish on poor people.


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