Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP S. M. Marikkar today brought to the notice of the House that the Board of Investment (BoI) in a letter had directed all factories in the country to perform PCR tests on 5 per cent of their staff per week from four private hospitals, which he said would lead to a huge financial scam.
He told Parliament that there are over one million workers in BoI approved factories in the country and that accordingly, 50,000 workers would have to undergo PCR tests per week which would cost around Rs. 325 million per week.
“The BoI has named four private hospitals to perform these PCR tests. This is an economic burden to factories that were recovering from economic hardships it had faced due to COVID-19 epidemic,” he said.
He questioned why the government was not offering to conduct the tests.
The MP said one private hospital among the four had obtained approval from the health ministry to purchase PCR kits at a cost of US 6.5 dollars.
“Directing factories to get PCR tests performed from private hospitals would result in these hospitals earning exorbitant profits,” he said.
He said subjecting factory workers to PCR tests was a good move but how it was done would lead to financial frauds. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)