Written by Staff Writer
08 Jul, 2018 | 10:04 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Improprieties have arisen around the granting of licenses for a lubricant blending project to be undertaken by a Malaysian company in the Muthurajawela area.
The Sunday Times reported today that the delay in granting the required licenses for the Malaysian company was brought to the attention of the cabinet at the meeting held on Tuesday. According to the Sunday Times report, the lubricant blending project is worth 10 million US dollars.
At the previous cabinet meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena had made inquiries from subject minister Arjuna Ranatunga over the delay in granting licenses for the project. At the cabinet meeting last Tuesday, Minister Ranatunga had tabled a document which said that he, the Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), and the Secretary of the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry Upali Marasinghe opposed the decision to issue licenses to the Malaysian firm.
When News 1st made inquiries today from the Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe, he said that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has been conferred the responsibility of granting licenses for the manufacture of lubricants. He added that as such, he would not intervene in this matter in any way. Speaking to Newsfirst, Dhammika Ranatunga, the Chairman of CeyPetCo, claimed that the Attorney General’s department had flagged certain shortcomings in the agreement signed with the Malaysian firm.
Secretary of the CPC Branch, Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya, Ananda Palitha stated that the Hyrax company does not have a license for this factory and that the Petroleum Corporation has a license to manufacture lubricants. He also continued to say that under this system, the Petroleum Corporation could have built a lubricant refinery and that by giving away their license that they have become a simple trader and only receive a commission.
“The price is determined by that company. Although they say that ownership will be transferred in 20 years, if they sign a lease agreement with another company for a certain timeframe then we will lose our ownership. Our position is that this project should continue as a partnership between the relevant company and the Petroleum Corporation” added the Secretary.
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