February, 20, 2020
The SriLankan Airbus Deal cleared without the Attorney-General Consultation, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) reveals.
The Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), MP Sunil Handunneththi revealed that the Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus Deal of US $ 2.8 billion has been carried out without the proper consultation of the Attorney-General.
This was stated at the COPE committee meeting held Wednesday (19) under the Chairmanship of MP Sunil Handunneththi at the Parliament Complex.
Accordingly, attention of the Committee was drawn upon the incompetence and inability of SriLankan Airlines Limited in obtaining formal approval, adhering with the proper procurement process and obtaining the requisite consultation service for the termination of the agreement on Aircraft.
The Committee revealed that a sum of US $ 375 million had been provided by the government and a sum of US $ 355.5 million therefrom had been utilized under the approval of the cabinet to settle the loans owed to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. Given the statistics, the Sri Lankan Airlines high officials were questioned by the committee as to why Sri Lankan Airlines Limited entered into an agreement of an estimate of Us $ 2.8 billion with only a sum of US $ 19.5 million remaining.
Furthermore, the committee expressed its displeasure over Sri Lankan Airlines Limited having to pay an amount of US $ 115.77 million in compensation as a result of not incorporating a termination clause into the agreement.
While emphasizing that changes in the Board of Directors from time to time should by no means be an exemption from the collective responsibility for such irregularities, the COPE Chairman directed the Auditor General to bring the matter to the attention of the Attorney General.
The committee was held with the presence of Minister Susil Premajayantha and MPs Ajith. P Perera, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Harsha De Silva, Ashok Abeysinghe.