Written by Staff Writer
26 Jan, 2019 | 10:45 pm
Colombo (News1st): At present, the Sena caterpillar epidemic has devastated agricultural crops across the island, and has caused major losses to the public. However, the report submitted recently by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) reveals, that losses incurred by the Paddy Marketing Board are much higher than the losses caused by the Sena caterpillar to our country.
During the Yala and Maha seasons in the years 2014/2015, the Paddy Marketing Board paid farmers Rs. 45 for 1 kg of Nadu rice. The report reveals that the Paddy Marketing Board sold these stocks as animal feed for Rs. 24 per kilo, despite its ability to sell the rice stocks for the same price they were purchased.
The Paddy Marketing Board incurred a loss of Rs. 2.4877 billion due to this transaction. When questioned by the COPE, the secretary of the relevant ministry and the Chairman of the Paddy Marking Board had revealed that this was carried out to clear inventory in paddy warehouses.
Meanwhile, the report reveals that in 2013, the Paddy Marketing Board had given stocks of paddy to 32 mill owners for rice production, out of which, only a portion of these stocks had been given to Sathosa. While the Criminal Investigation Division is currently conducting an investigation into this matter, details pertaining to these transactions have also been reported to court. The report also reveals that paddy stocks have been issued to the same individual in several instances.
Meanwhile, member of the COPE, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva stated, starting from this year, investigations carried out by the COPE will be open to media. He noted MP Hadunnetti has obtained the approval of speaker.
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