Mon, 16 May 2022 Today's Paper

MR rejects Ranil’s claims

31 May 2015 01:50 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While rejecting allegations that his government had misappropriated some Rs. 28b at the Highway ministry, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today charged that the current government is engaging in a smear campaign against him and an attempt to belittle the solid achievements of his government in infrastructure development.

Issuing a statement the former President said;

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged yesterday, that I had in my capacity as the Minister of Highways taken a loan of Rs. 55 billion from the National Savings Bank for 28 road projects but that Rs. 28 billion of this money had been used for other purposes such as helicopter rides and providing free meals to people. This is a part of the ongoing smear campaign against me and an attempt to belittle the solid achievements of my government in infrastructure development. The Road Development Authority did indeed obtain a long term credit facility of Rs. 55 billion from the NSB for 28 road projects.

The Rs. 28 billion referred to by the Prime Minister is not a part of the Rs. 55 billion long term loan. It is a separate short-term loan that was negotiated between the Road Development Authority and the NSB to meet payments relating to various ongoing projects. The Treasury has in fact issued ‘letters of comfort’ to the NSB asking them to release this short-term loan to the RDA to be settled later through the 2015 budget. All road projects are evaluated by RDA engineers and tender boards and payments are certified based on the work done. The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) can verify the work carried out by the RDA on the basis of the NSB credit facilities.

The Rs. 28 billion short-term loan from the NSB was utilised for most part to meet the ‘local component’ requirements in projects funded by foreign donors like JICA and the ADB. Some of it was used for the maintenance and repair of existing roads. In any event all the money was spent on Road Development. As for the other Rs. 55 billion taken from the NSB, some of the projects coming under that long-term loan are still ongoing and the entire amount has not yet been utilised. I wish to state that provision was made in my last budget for the repayment of the entire short-term loan of Rs. 28 billion to the NSB and it was approved by parliament. The reason why the present government is concocting various stories about this Rs. 28 billion is obviously because they have mis-spent the money allocated in my budget and are now unable to make the scheduled payment to the NSB.

 
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  Comments - 18

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  • Appu Monday, 01 June 2015 06:47 PM

    And give me that contract you promised

    mohamed Tuesday, 02 June 2015 06:55 AM

    Kiris Baba Amaray,You said it man ! Great !

    T Wickramaratna Monday, 01 June 2015 08:23 AM

    Facts are stubborn. But learn to face them MR

    AAA Monday, 01 June 2015 07:19 PM

    "This government has failed to prove that MR has misappropriated a single cent"Yeah so how to prove when that rogue government wiped all the evidence??

    AAA Monday, 01 June 2015 07:21 PM

    You deserve a slap in the face. Shame...

    Damien Monday, 01 June 2015 09:09 AM

    This government has failed to prove that MR has misappropriated a single cent.

    Fassey Monday, 01 June 2015 09:11 AM

    If you have not misused public funds, from where did you have so much of wealth for the super luxury life of your family and hundreds of dansalas at Temple Trees?

    Bala Monday, 01 June 2015 09:17 AM

    We can wait and see in the next couple of months how much was robbed. You and your cronies did it very shrewdly and it iis difficult to trace, but surely it will be done.

    Harry Monday, 01 June 2015 10:20 AM

    Are you travelling on what roads in Sri Lanka?

    Sharon Monday, 01 June 2015 03:21 PM

    We are with you Sir. We need you back very soon.

    Chris Monday, 01 June 2015 06:42 AM

    You can reject but we have to accept. We all know how tenders and contracts were signed at temple trees.

    Nobody Monday, 01 June 2015 06:47 AM

    Machan, you dreaming.

    Nuwan Tuesday, 02 June 2015 02:33 AM

    The proof can be seen even now if you go along expressways. Katunayaka expressway has one big crack on its surface and Matara one has number of places where water collects like swimming pools. This is bad construction.

    teewee Tuesday, 02 June 2015 03:38 AM

    Most of these pro UNP supporters are mentally retarded and frustrated gang of people. They do not remember the development of th past 30 years vs last ten years. Their eyes are focused to see violence and enjoy lt , MR should expand the metal facility for these people as soon he get reelected.

    Desmond Jeromme Monday, 01 June 2015 07:22 AM

    MR, you robbed the loan money. No hanky panky man.

    Horri Jimonis Monday, 01 June 2015 07:24 AM

    Hay you should admit your fault, you really robbed the nation, no 2nd word.

    Kiris Baba Amaray Monday, 01 June 2015 07:25 AM

    You loser shut your dirty mouth and keep quiet, the entire nation rejected you as you and your brothers robbed our country.

    jolly bird Tuesday, 02 June 2015 11:43 AM

    Yes of course To rob the remaining wealth of country. . via DM Android App


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