By Yoshitha Perera
Though the Procurement Appeal Board (PAB) decided to award the second phase of the Suraksha Student Insurance Policy to Allianz Insurance Lanka Limited in 2018, the officials attached to PAB do not have sufficient knowledge about this insurance scheme, PAB Chairman Somasiri Gunasekara admitted at the Presidential Commission yesterday.
Former minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has filed a complaint at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate corruption of the current administration, on the Suraksha Insurance scheme. The complaint was filed in relation to State funds amounting to Rs. 2300 million that has been misappropriated instead of providing the selected benefits to the school children.
Giving evidence before the commission, Mr. Gunasekara said that they had awarded the insurance policy to Allianz Insurance because they were the lowest bidder during the tender process.
However, observing the Appeal Order on awarding the Suraksha Insurance Policy, Chairman of the commission, retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Aberathne said that the Appeal Board has only considered facts related to Allianz Insurance and that the board has deliberately awarded the policy to them.
The first phase of the Suraksha Insurance scheme was conducted by the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and was reinsured through the brokerage company J.B. Boda Insurance Services. According to the agreement the brokerage company paid a commission to Sri Lanka Insurance and this commission was used to pay off the premiums for reinsurance.
During the testimony, former minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that during the first six months of implementing the insurance policy the Education Ministry had received only Rs.160 million worth of applications but before starting the policy the Ministry had transferred Rs. 2.7 billion to the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).
“The Ministry had to spend around Rs.300 million per year to cover the insurance of all students in the country but the Ministry had collected Rs.2700 million of public money for the insurance policy. It is a very absurd situation,” he said.
It was also notified by the former minister that it was revealed that the SLIC had reinsured Rs.1200 million in a foreign reinsurance company. “It was very clear that the aim of certain authorities was to obtain an extra commission by reinsuring such money which provided for the Suraksha policy,” the former minister said.
The Ministry had to spend around Rs.300 million per year to cover the insurance of all students in the country but the Ministry had collected Rs.2700 million of public money for the insurance policy. It is a very absurd situation