By Yoshitha Perera
The Presidential Commission of Inquiries (PCoI) investigating frauds under the current administration, sent its first interim report on the progress of the Commission so far to the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
The PCoI is to send a progress report once in three months. Since the beginning of the Commission earlier this year, had investigated a number of allegations, especially in the Health and Education ministries.
Meanwhile, Minister of Megapolis Patali Champika Ranawaka will provide evidence before the PCoI today on the purchase of Emergency Power and fuel for power plants. It was also revealed that by signing agreements with private power producers whole of last year, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) incurred colossal losses as such excess production which is needed only for three months, President of the Lanka Viduli Podu Sewaka Sangamaya (LVPSS) Malaka Wickramasinghe told the PCoI.
“For the most part, we need electricity in the months of January, February and March. But we sign agreements with these private power producers for the entire year. This has incurred massive losses to CEB,” he said. CEB losses rose to Rs.50 billion in 2017 due to purchasing power from private plants. While the situation improved in 2018 due to significant rainfalls that allowed hydro power plants to operate to their optimum level for a longer period of time. However, things are expected to become worse this year. Moreover, District Managers of National Housing Authority in Hambantota, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Ampara, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Monaragala, Matale, Puttalam, Kandy and Matara have been asked to appear before the police unit attached to the PCoI today. They have been asked to present with bills issued by officials at the authority head offices for Model Villages established.