- Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asked why investigations had not been done despite the enormous loss caused to the already cash-strapped government
By Kelum Bandara
Despite the lapse of three years and pressure from various parties and groups, investigations are yet to be completed regarding the sugar scam that denied tax revenue amounting to nearly Rs. 16 billion to the state.
The then Gotabaya Rajapaksa government announced a sudden reduction of duty on sugar imports from Rs.50 a kilo to 25 cents in October, 2020. A cabal of importers enjoying political patronage benefited from this reduction denying the state coffers much-needed revenue running into Rs.16 billion.
The Committee on Public Finance (COPF), then headed by MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, also inquired about the matter and unearthed details about the scam.
Now and then during the past three years, various people including politicians across the divide have raised the issue but investigations have not yet been concluded.
Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella raised the matter once again in Parliament yesterday and asked why investigations had not been done despite the enormous loss caused to the already cash-strapped government.
“The government is facing a revenue crisis. Then, how can we tolerate economic crimes of this nature?” he asked.
Chairman of Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Lasantha Alagiyawanna said the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) had informed that investigations are in progress.
“The COPA has been informed that investigations are in progress,” he said.