- Move after Committee members reveal discrepancies in information given by CEB officials
- COPE to inquire into power generation, procurement, distribution and projects of CEB
- CEB employees paid allowances amounting to Rs. 2.13 b in 2021 and Rs. 1.5 b in 2020
The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday decided to hold a special meeting to look into power generation, procurement, distribution and projects of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
The decision was taken when the Committee met to discuss the Auditor General’s reports for the years 2017 and 2018 and the current performance of the Ceylon Electricity Board.
Committee members said that at the last meeting held with CEB officials, there were discrepancies in the information they provided regarding the purchases, distributions and projects of the Ceylon Electricity Board.
Therefore, COPE members requested COPE Chairman MP Charitha Herath to inform the Parliament and the Speaker to appoint a Select Committee to look into all matters including the generation plan. The Chairman of COPE said the Committee should first hold a special meeting to look into this matter to which the others agreed.
Attention was also drawn to the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on 14 November 2008 and the payment of various staff allowances to the staff from time to time with the approval of the Board of Directors contrary to the provisions of the Management Services Circular No. 39 of 26 May 2009.
It was revealed that Rs. 2,134.9 million has been provided as these allowances in 2021 and Rs. 1,544.4 million in 2020. The COPE Chairman said there should be accountability for this money as it is public money. He also pointed out that some of the categories used for the payment of allowances were ridiculous. For example, in addition to ‘reading the meter’, there is also an allowance for ‘reading the meter correctly’, he added.
He said the annual expenditure of the Ceylon Electricity Board exceeds the revenue expected by the Inland Revenue Department through all taxes.