Written by Tharushan Fernando
20 Jan, 2017 | 9:52 pm
Min.Kabir Hashim reveals details of a luxury plane prepared for the former head of state.
Responding to allegations raised by the Joint Opposition over Sri Lankan Airlines Deals he said that the agreement with Emirates was terminated after a fall out with the then CEO,Peter Hill who was removed from his post when the former president was overseas and the he control was taken over by Sri Lankan Airlines.
“What they did was something similar to using a bottomless bucket cover their nakedness.”he said
According to the minister the Annual Gross Profit for 2008 was 4.4 Billion Rupees and when it was taken over in 2015 the airline accumulated debt mounting to 1 Billion US Dollars or 150 Billion Rupees.
[quote]“If we have saved that money we could have constructed another 150 Schools or 75 Hospitals with 300 Beds. During his 10 years when this was taking place , Mahinda Rajapaksa did not speak of it “ [/quote]
The Minister also revealed of a Luxury Plane being prepared for the Former Head of State stating that in 2014 the Brother in Law of Mahinda Rajapaksa purchased a A 330 Airfraft on behalf of Mahinda Rajapaksa and removed half the content to prepare it to a luxury level
“The Super Unit was prepared in a manner where it can be installed whenever the so-called Royal Family travelling. We were compelled to terminate that ” he said
The Minister elaborated on the decision made to terminate agreements reached to lease 04 Air Bus Aircraft during the time of Mahinda Rajapaksa pointing out that the Long term monthly lease agreement was entered into with a company named Air Cap and according to the agreement, the monthly cost for a aircraft was 1.4 Million dollars and during that time, the monthly Lease Rate that existed in the market was 950,000 US Dollars but a deal for 1.4 Million dollars was signed when it could have gone for 950,000 dollars.
“Isn’t this fraud? Isn’t this corruption?”charged the minister
Compensation that had to be paid when the deal was terminated since there was a no Exit Clauses was included in the agreement
The Minister of Public Enterprise Development said that one aircraft was cancelled ealier and there were four aircrafts and the first was cancelation took place after paying a compensation after paying $17 mn because that aircraft was expected to be ready before the rest while a compensation of $98 Mn for the other 3 aircrafts.
Details were also given regarding the progress made in restructuring Sri Lankan Airlines explaining that 3 companies were shortlisted
The short-listed companies includes an American restructuring company called T.P.G, Peace Air and ‘another Maldivian company’
He explained that the problem that exists is that none of the companies included in the shortlist have any expereince in managing an International Airline,however, the American company named T.P.G. is well renowned for restructuring businesses.
He added that a special committee that was appointed to look into this has compiled a report, and this has been submitted to the Prime Minister and the committee was appointed by the Prime Minister to study the three applicants and find the most suitable one.
The Prime Minister also said that if the last Economic Management Committee could not find a suitable candidate, a new official committee comprising of three Ministers will be appointed to look into the restructuring of Sri Lankan Airlines, according to Min.Hashim
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