By NESHELLA PERERA
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ex-ministers have run up massive electricity bills by when they overstayed in official residences after losing their ministries and left after defaulting to the electricity board, it was revealed in parliament.
Under one of the perks given ministers, electricity bills of official residences are paid by their ministries, as long as they hold the post. Some ministers have overstayed for months and years on end and left without paying bills.
“The most controversial bills were at government official residences,” State Minister of Power and Energy, Indika Anuruddha, told parliament.
“There are ministers who have done this from the 1980s. The names are there.
“But they now not in parliament. Some are not among the living.
“Under the usual system an ex-minister is given three months to remove his goods and leave the residence. During this time the ministry will not pay the bill.
Minister Anuruddha offered to reveal the names if parliamentarian agree.
” If you agree without party divisions we can reveal these names,” he said. “Some live there for six months. Some live for one or two years. This bill becomes large and gets bigger with interest.
“For example in your district, in your seat, there is a senior ex-minister,” he told the opposition member who had raised the question.
It is not clear how much money is owed to the CEB by ex-ministers.
Minister Anuruddha said in a bid to halt the arrears, ministers are now given two weeks to settle the bill.
Some ministers have not been paying the current bill due to arrears. From now, the new bill is immediately registered to the name of the minister and they are asked to pay.
Around 60 to 70 percent of the current ministers bills have now being collected under this method, he said. (Colombo/Dec14/2022)
Disclaimer: Shock revelations on Sri Lanka ministers’ electric defaults - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view