The joint opposition (JO) yesterday said the government was attempting to commit a financial fraud not second to the ‘Bond scam’ by handing over the construction of the Central Expressway to a consortium of two Japanese companies.
Addressing a news briefing, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Professor G.L. Peiris said the initial preparations were made to obtain funds for the construction of the Expressway from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“Since the JICA is a firm of the Japanese Government, there will be no commissions. Therefore, the Mitsui Bank entered into the deal. Meanwhile, the government is trying its best to hand over the construction work of the highway to Fujita Corporation,” he said.
He said a Technical Evaluation Committee appointed had ruled that the Fujita Corporation lacks adequate financial and technical knowledge to carry out the highway constructions.
“The Committee said Fujita has no financial power as it had not undertaken a single project worth more than USD 600 million within the last five years. Then, the government roped in another company called Taisei Corporation which has technical skills. However, instead of rejecting Fujita, the government forced Taisei to establish a consortium with Fujita to construct the highway,” Prof. Peiris said.
He said the Technical Committee had estimated the constructions of the Expressway could be carried out with Rs. 123 billion but the government expects to give Rs. 132.5 billion to the Corporations. (Lahiru Pothmulla)