CEB has purchased power on arbitrary rates during last five years: COPE Chairman

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The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has purchased power at their own discretion without any transparency for the last five years, the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) said yesterday. The COPE report which was submitted to Parliament by its Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunetti said.

Purchases of power at rates ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1000 million had been made per day from 70 generating points without determining prices in a proper manner.

The COPE had recommended that there should be a method of determining prices through computer software but such a system has not been implemented during the last five years. “Though the software has been purchased it has not been used,” the report added.

The report revealed that the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation had possessed a stock of substandard and expired medicines worth Rs 104.4 million as of April 2018. The report said some types of medicines are imported in abundance because requirements had not been assessed properly.

The COPE report had come up with another staggering disclosure where the General Manager of People’s Bank had been paid a salary of Rs 2.1 million in 2018 although he had been recruited on a contract basis. It was also revealed that Rs.75 million had been paid to the then Chairman as salary arrears. The approval had been seeking to extend the service of the present chairman. The COPE has however recommended not to give a service extension.

The report revealed that a stock of kerosene mixed with diesel was found when transported from the oil storage of Muthurajawala to Kurunegala. Investigations had revealed the mixing was done on December 31, 2017, at Minuwangoda. Some 33,000 litres of diesel had been contaminated by this act. The driver and the assistant who was held in connection with the incident have been bailed out.

Meanwhile, COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti while presenting the report suggested that judicial officers including representatives of Attorney General be allowed to witness the committee proceedings so that the investigations become real evidence. Such an exercise he said could expiate action on anyone who is found guilty of any offence. He said such a practice is being carried out in countries such as Pakistan