People are watching closely – a warning to Minister Lakshman Kiriella

People are watching closely – a warning to Minister Lakshman Kiriella

By Nathasha De Alwis

16 Dec, 2017 | 10:30 pm

Remember the shady contract on the proposed Central Expressway?

Phase One : Financed through a loan from China’s Exim Bank
Phase Two : Financed through two state banks
Phase Three : Being constructed through a commercial loan from the Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank in Japan obtained at high interest rates under strict conditions

Public protests took place when phase two was being constructed, disregarding Environmental Impact Assessment reports. A massive controversy  surrounded the construction when phase three of the Central Expressway was initiated.

Furthermore, a contract was granted to two Japanese companies, violating  tender procedure. A loan was obtained at high interest rates, instead of state concessionary credit, from the Japanese government.

The decision was made to award the contract for Rs.134 billion, when the engineering estimate costed the project at Rs.123 billion. One of the companies which has been awarded the contract faces allegations by the Japan Fair Trade Commission for tender fraud. While such projects are beneficial to the country, isn’t the lack of transparency and good governance harmful to the nation?

This is a warning to Minister Lakshman Kiriella, the people are watching closely on the matter.