UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday called for the withdrawal of the Rs. 100 currency note that depicts the Puttalam power plant as ‘development and prosperity’ of Sri Lanka.
He said the face of the Rs. 100 currency note issued in 2011 has a large drawing of the Puttalam coal-fired power plant to depict what the Central Bank refers to as ‘development and prosperity’ of Sri Lanka.
“Also known as the Norochcholai or Lak Vijaya plant, this is the now notoriously inefficient, ill-designed and fault ridden Phase 1 of a grand project that has within just over a year of operation become a colossal waste of public funds,” the UNP MP said.
He alleged that it was built by a Chinese company called China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC) without any transparent procurement procedures for a massive U$S 455 million and it was amusing how the Central Bank thought it fit to depict this symbol of corruption in the guise of development as the nation’s pride in ‘development and prosperity’.
“Interestingly, this is how CMEC describes the honour in their website: ‘The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has put the power plant on the new currencies... as the general contractor of the project, CMEC has felt an incomparable pride.’ The truth is that the people of this country are now feeling an incomparable anger at the hit-men who were involved in perpetrating this economic crime on the people of this nation. While an urgent investigation must be carried out, to get to the bottom of this deal as well as its Phase 2 which we are told is twice as big as the currently malfunctioning Phase 1, it would be advisable to withdraw this Rs. 100 currency note as this project has already become a huge embarrassment to Sri Lanka’s ‘development and prosperity,’” the UNP MP said in a statement.
See http://www.cmec.com/en/contents/146/1723.aspx for the Rs. 100 note and the CMEC statement.