The Joint Opposition reports Minister Harrison to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption
Posted on February 1st, 2017

By Dasun Edirisinghe Courtesy The Island

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday complained to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) against Minister of Rural Economy P. Harison and Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board for causing a loss of Rs. 10 billion to the government by selling paddy stocks to a private company as animal food.

Addressing the media at Dr. N. M. Perera Centre in Borella, Kalutara District MP Jayantha Samaraweera said a stock of 200,000 MT of paddy was sold to a company and they used it for animal feed.

The paddy bought by PMB from farmers at Rs. 28 – 45 a kilo was sold at Rs. 24, he said adding that it was condemned as not suitable for human consumption without appointing a technical committee to evaluate it.

Samaraweera said another fraud took place when releasing paddy from PMB stores to private rice millers.

He said there was a rice shortage in the market at present and the government insiders themselves blamed it on unscrupulous releasing of paddy stocks to favourites.

“During President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s period, the PMB had 200,000 MT paddy as a buffer stock, but this government did not maintain such a reserve,” Samaraweera said.

The Kalutara District MP said they asked CIABOC to start an investigation into their complaint as it had kept silent on their previous six complaints against government ministers.

Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the government was manipulated by four persons—Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Malik Samarawickrema, Charitha Ratwatte and R. Paskaralingam.

They decided everything of the government and they did not listen even to President Maithripala Sirisena, he said.

Aluthgamage said the JO lodged the first complaint against a government minister four months ago and seven complaints had been made so far, but CIABOC was still silent on them.

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