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Final report on outstanding Rs. 35 b from former Govt’s projects to be handed to Cabinet today

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By Charumini de Silva

The final report of the Rs. 35 billion in outstanding payments for 500 public projects started by the previous regime covering 53 ministries will be presented to the Cabinet today, a top official confirmed.

Digging through the morass of public projects from 2011, a three-member Cabinet committee has cleared Rs. 3 billion by August 2016 from a whopping Rs. 35 billion in outstanding payments on 500 projects started by the previous Government. 

The committee has completed a draft of the final report in December 2016 with outstanding payments to various government and private parties and the full report on pending payments will be submitted to the Cabinet today, a top official said.

He acknowledged that the information on the report would be made available based on the recommendation of the Cabinet.

The Treasury has settled some of the payments for recommended transactions utilising the 2016 Budget allocations, as few ministries have carried forwarded those expenditures, while other ministries had requested additional budgetary support from the Treasury, he said.

Cabinet in March appointed a three-member committee headed by former senior public servants Lalith R. De Silva, N. Padmanadan and Pushpa Welappili to determine payments owed for projects started by the previous Government from 2011 to 2014.

Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga told the Daily FT in August 2016 that the total outstanding amount of unsettled work contracts up to 31 December 2014 added up to Rs. 35 billion. 

According to Dr. Samaratunga, the committee had received reports of 500 projects from 53 Ministries and 22 Special Spending Units. Most of the projects received were from the Highways and Higher Education ministries.

He said that the committee had been mandated with verifying the amount of overdue payments and to work out a debt servicing mechanism. 


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