Written by Staff Writer
20 Feb, 2019 | 9:51 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Minister Kabir Hashim arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering, and Mihin Lanka, to record a statement at the Criminal Investigations Department today (Feb 20).
Minister Kabir Hashim said that the commission questioned him regarding incidents that took place during the previous regime and during the present government. He noted he provided the necessary information including all evidence to the commission, confirming the time frame the respective losses were incurred and clarifying the reasons as to how they took place.
Minister Hashim noted that they did not question him regarding the purchase of the Airbus aircraft. He went onto note that during his testimony he gave evidence with regard to the purchasing of 8 Airbus A350 and 900s. He said during the previous regime, Mahinda Rajapaksa had made a decision regarding the method of taxation and he (Hashim) had provided information and evidence which covers areas such as the suitability of the signed agreements and aircraft to SriLankan, and the major differences between market rates and the agreements SriLankan signed.
He noted that 6 A330-200 aircraft were purchased during the same period and while one aircraft was purchased for 890,000 dollars, the other 5 were purchased for more than 1 million dollars. He said there was only a minor change in the serial numbers, and the prices could not have changed in such a manner, within a period of 12 months.
Meanwhile, Senior State Council Fazli Razack questioned Yasantha Dissanayaka over the drastic decline in the national carrier’s financial position, between 2008 and 2010. The value of equity, current assets and current liabilities of SriLankan Airlines, as per the audited financial stood at Rs.15.5 billion, Rs. 32.2 billion and Rs. 29.1 billion respectively.
However, after the lapse of two years, as at 31st March 2010, SriLankan equity, current assets, and current liabilities had declined to Rs. 3.5 billion, Rs.15.9 billion and Rs. 28.14 billion respectively. Court of Appeal Judge Gamini Rohan Amarasekara stated that the former secretary to the Ministry of Finance, P.B. Jayasudara instructed SriLankan to proceed with an unfit business plan, even when the airline was a going concern.
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