COPE report reveals losses of over Rs. 110 billion at state enterprises

Thursday, 9 February 2017 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Chairman Handunnetti says these must be called “wasteful and uneconomic state enterprises”


Another shocking report revealing the wretched status of 15 state institutions was tabled yesterday in Parliament by COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti. According to him, the losses of these key public entities have exceeded Rs. 110 billion and will continue to increase.

“We have focused on 15 establishments from 1 May till 31 August 2016. Instead of highlighting them as loss-making state enterprises I prefer to use the words wasteful and uneconomic state enterprises. The Suriyawewa Cricket Stadium of Sri Lanka Cricket falls within this category. The payment of Rs. 5 billion is pending where there is no particular owner. 

The Cooperative Wholesale Establishment, Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka Insurance, State Engineering Corporation, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Sri Lanka Cricket, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, National Lotteries Board, Ceylon Electricity Board and Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka, Football Federation, Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Medicine Corporation, Maga Neguma institutions under the Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Kurunegala Plantations and Employee Trust Fund are investigated in this report,” he said. 

Calling for a Parliament debate, MP Handunnetti said: “Certain projects which are not within the purview of the Road Development Authority have created massive losses. Investment on Nelum Kuluna is a total waste. The Football Federation has received millions of euros in donations. The use of such funds is questionable. The State Engineering Corporation loss is Rs. 2,918 million. Ministers are responsible. We were able to investigate a total of 60 State enterprises till this date.”

According to this report, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment is to recover a rental of Rs.124 million from subsidiaries and no inquiry was conducted against persons involved in fraud amounting to Rs. 1.3 million. 

The Maga Naguma project has spent Rs. 5.86 million to maintain 54 consultants and 94 public relations officers in 2015. The report had revealed that the abrupt closure of Sri Lanka Insurance branches would incur unnecessary losses. It was further revealed that the CEO and Managing Director had drawn Rs. 165 million and Rs. 55 million as a salary during the stipulated period without making any contribution to the institution. 

Meanwhile, COPE found fault with Sri Lanka Cricket for failing to send a comprehensive valuation report of the Sooriyawewa Cricket Stadium well after its construction. (AH)