Another revelation about the misuse of national assets

Another revelation about the misuse of national assets

Written by Staff Writer

09 Feb, 2019 | 9:07 pm

Colombo (News 1st): What is the future of the Kantale Sugar Factory which contributed immensely to the sugar industry of Sri Lanka?

The Kantele Sugar factory was established in 1961 with funds from Czechoslovakia. It made profits until 1986. However, the factory was closed in 1993 as the factory incurred heavy losses as a state institution. Ever since then several attempts were made to get the factory to operate again by laying foundation stones several times since 2005, but these attempts proved futile.

Since the Yahapalanaya Government came into power the factory was taken under the Ministry of Lands. Thereafter through the 100-day program initiated by the Yahapalanaya Government, it was decided to form a partnership of both state and private sectors with the intention of developing the factory. On the 27th of May in 2015, the Board of Investment reached an agreement with a company registered in Singapore.

According to the contract, under the 150 million rupee invested in this project, 51% of ownership belonged to the state and 49% belonged to the investor. However, a conflict arose due to a breach of a fundamental agreement in the contract.

Former UPFA MP Jayantha Wijesekara noted that the M.G. Sugar company had requested the Secretary of the Ministry Lands to destroy the factory and give that land to build a new factory. He added that the 53 billion worth Kanatale factory was sold at 5.4 billion. He pointed out that after taking an in-depth look into the matter it came into light that only 500 acres of land had been given to the Kanatale Sugar Factor.

Even though it has been 4 years since this contract was signed, the Kantale sugar factory is yet to produce sugar. Wijesekara noted that he can specifically state that Ranil Wickremesinghe and Secretary of Ministry of Lands are involved in this matter.
He added that President Maithripala Sirisena formed a committee to cancel the selling of the factory for Rs. 5.4 billion. He noted that following this cancellation the M.G. Sugar Company filed a case. After winning the case they took over the Kantale sugar factory.
Wijesekara noted that 35 heavy vehicles, a workshop, and accommodation at the factory were requested by M.G. Sugars. When News 1st inquired from the company on this issue, the company refused to provide a statement.
According to Jayantha Wijesekara, the M.G. Sugar Company went to courts with the ulterior motive of privatizing the Kantale Sugar CompanyJayantha Wijesekara went on to note that the United National Party is using a cunning ploy to show that they offer jobs.

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