National People’s Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath today said there had been a misappropriation in payment made to the Indian Company to purchase nano liquid fertilizer and urged the Government to clarify on the matter.
He told Parliament that People’s bank had transferred US$ 1.257 million to an account of the private company called ‘United Farmers Trust Ltd. at the People’s Bank branch in Town Hall, violating due procedures.
He said this private company ‘United Farmers Trust Ltd.’ had been established on October 18 and said the account had been opened on the same day for which funds had been transferred.
“These funds have been transferred on the directives of the Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundara without the approval of Parliament or the Cabinet. On what legal basis funds of more than Rs. 290 million transferred to a private account,” he asked.
The MP said only a total of Rs. 90.2 million had been paid including the freighting charges, Port and Development Levy (PAL) and to the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited for the import of the nano fertilizer.
He said the two directors had urged the People’s bank to convert the balance of more than Rs. 200 million into rupees and said the whole episode was suspicious.
Agricultural Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who responded, said that there had been no such misappropriation and said funds had been transferred to the United Farmer’s Trust Ltd. as it was the local agent nominated by the Indian Farmers' Fertilizer Cooperative Limited.
He said the proposal on the nano fertilizer had been made to the Government by the Sri Lanka-India Trade and Investment Promotion Chamber and the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited through the Indian High Commission.
He said the Indian partners had nominated United Farmer’s Trust Ltd. as their local agent which had opened Letter of Credits to purchase the fertilizer stocks from India.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)