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Handunnetti reveals ‘express robbery’ on expressway

30 August 2017 06:31 pm - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman and MP, Sunil Handunnetti yesterday revealed that losses amounting to more than Rs.36 billion had been incurred in Extension of the Southern Expressway Project (ESEP).

He told a news conference organised by the ‘Voice Against Corruption’ (VAC) that the Chinese government was also responsible for the misappropriations that had taken place when carrying out the project.

He said the unity government launched the project at an estimated cost of US$1.9 billion or Rs.243 billion, which was a loan from China's Exim Bank, with the government agreeing to bear 15 per cent of the cost of the first and the second phases.

The MP said the FSDI Company which was constructing the expressway had presented an additional estimate of Rs.36 billion for extending the flyovers by 2.78 kilometers.

He said according to the original document the flyovers were to have a total length of 6.33 kilometers but later requested permission to extend them up to 9.11 kilometers.

“The new requisition was submitted after the construction began and the agreement was signed. On November 13, 2016 the PM’s Secretary approved the estimate but the FSDI had requested approval for the extension on November 30, 2016. It is suspicious whether the Prime Minister had permitted extension before the company's request," the MP said. He said the company had sent a letter to the RDA Senior Project Director on November 19, 2016 requesting approval for salaries of the foreign employees mostly from China with an annex of a letter sent earlier seeking permission from National Economic Council member R. Paskaralingam.

“It is surprising to know that the RDA granted approval on the letter sent to Mr. Paskaralingam,” he said and added that the appointments were confirmed by the RDA Senior Project Director without evaluating their qualifications but just looking at the CVs sent by the company.

The MP said that apart from the other major issues the company was permitted to import a luxury Benz Car duty free to be given to a powerful minister who has authority for the project. He said the matter would be taken up for inquiry by COPE.

“We are not against expressways. But this scam is little more than the whole income received by selling the Hambantota Port to China,” the MP said. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)

 

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  Comments - 13

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  • Hemaka Wednesday, 30 August 2017 06:57 PM

    Fraud is been done we all know that but we the people are disabled. Is there any one worth voting ?

    Lord Wolfstein Wednesday, 30 August 2017 06:59 PM

    In China, corrupt officials are being executed. In Sri Lanka, they are not even have to face a court.

    Chris Thursday, 31 August 2017 06:01 AM

    No one remembers how JVP acted when they got the ministerial positions under CBK. Nothing was achieved including the much touted 1000 wewa renovation project their pet project. Only talk no work. They have only politics in their minds not the betterment of the country. Why not give us a comprehensive plan or an alternative if they have one.

    r86 Thursday, 31 August 2017 06:35 AM

    r u crazy..UNP doesnt know how to rob money under Mr.CleanDirty... via DM Android App

    Lord Ofallords Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:23 AM

    all are the same .. im gonna vote JVP this time, in SL we dont have anything to lose now .. lets see !!

    Mr.Chan Chun Chin Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:46 AM

    In china execute the corrupted and take body parts.

    dulan Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:03 AM

    Incomplete reporting vague information .

    sachith Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:10 AM

    This reveal will make those involved politicians more popular, probably will get the highest votes from next election.

    Sri Lankan Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:22 AM

    You JVPiers too responsible all these kind og Yamapalana magadies. Because you're party so heardly worked them to brought to power this so called Good Governance Gvt.

    amitha Thursday, 31 August 2017 11:43 AM

    One of the few things which is bringing good income, and now that is being questioned?? what about the payments we are still making towards building it?

    ceylon Thursday, 31 August 2017 12:06 PM

    now you organise countrywide protest against sirisena and ranil for not taking actions against theives.otherwise just revealing corruption becoming joke. via DM Android App

    ceylon Thursday, 31 August 2017 12:07 PM

    new revelations.what happened to allready revealed corruptions. via DM Android App

    Sambo Thursday, 31 August 2017 03:39 PM

    What's happening in this country. Every project is a high way robbery. I think the president should really make a decision on these maters. it's not small money we are taking. Where will we end up going at this rate.


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