Vehicles for MP’s – The never ending hunt for power and luxury

Vehicles for MP’s – The never ending hunt for power and luxury

Vehicles for MP’s – The never ending hunt for power and luxury

Written by Staff Writer

27 Dec, 2016 | 10:53 pm

The secretary to the Prime Minister has issued a letter to the Secretary to the ministry of finance to make the necessary allocations to provide 58 parliamentarians with vehicles on an operational lease facility, in a backdrop where the Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary reforms has pointed out many shortcomings in the process.

What did the letter say?

Once the leasing period is completed – the parliamentarians would have the option of purchasing the vehicle at the then-market value.

Though duty-free permits were issued to current Ministers and Parliamentarians, a proposal has been forwarded to obtain vehicles for 58 other members of parliament on an operational lease facility. Facilities in this regard have been stalled as the Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media (PRMM) has not signed off on the proposal.

The proposal includes a vehicle for a monthly cost of Rs. 500,000 with a limit of 3000 kilometers.

Two companies bid for the process – but a technical evaluation committee and a cabinet appointed procurement committee rejected these bids.

President’s recommendations to Cabinet Ministers

Steps should be taken to ensure transparency during this process and to ensure that the process falls in line with the government’s procurement practices.

The monthly lease would amount to around Rs. 700,000 when taking into consideration taxes such as VAT, which would translate to an expense of Rs. 250 per kilometer. He notes that this is would amount to overpricing.

Even in such a backdrop an economic management subcommittee headed by the Prime minister has forwarded it’s recommendation to the cabinet of ministers stating that one organization that placed the bid qualifies for the project.

Thereby -the final decision reached was to acquire 58 vehicles on an operational lease which would last 60 months.

However the secretary to the ministry of PRMM Nimal Bopage opposed this move citing that the tenure of the existing parliament would complete in 45 months, while the operational lease expires in 60 months.

Nimal Bopage also pointed out that ownership of the vehicles in question reverting to the said company at the conclusion of the operational lease was another major concern.

In this backdrop the secretary to the Prime Minister issued a letter to the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance citing another proposal.

The letter reads that that parliamentarians would be able to purchase the vehicles -once the operational lease concludes- at the then market price. The letter further reads that this decision was reached by the sub committee on economic management and advises the secretary to the ministry to proceed accordingly.

The bid that was selected was one submitted by Value Trading together with Toyozumi Power Marketing.

The net worth of the company is Rs. 15 million. However the total sum that will be payments that will be made for the procurement of the said 58 vehicles will amount to over Rs. 2.43 billion.

Nimal Bopage (Secretary – Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media):

“.. I have clearly stated my stance on the vehicle issue, i will not sign this document. My stance remains unchanged ..”

Q : “There are media reports that the Prime Minister threatened you to sign it ..”

A : “I made a statement on this as well”

Q: “Does that mean that the transaction will proceed?”

A : “No, for the transaction to move ahead I need to sign it.”

Q : “What if the Secretary to the finance ministry signs it?”

A : “I don’t believe that one secretary will sign a document rejected by another…”

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