(Lanka-e-News 02.Feb.2017, 11.45PM) Some irresponsible media published reports that a sum of Rs. 300 million has been collected by officials as illicit commission on the insurance covers in connection with the expressways that are being constructed under the Road Development Authority (RDA) . Lanka e news which always takes upon itself this task of exposing rackets and racketeers before all else decided that an impartial probe be conducted into it .
Our own inquiries however revealed that these reports are absolute news canards. The senior director in charge of this project of the Road Development Authority from whom we inquired , gave the following explanation ..:
1. The previous government when constructing expressways , did not adhere to any tender procedures . The present government however had not awarded any contract without calling for tenders.
2. The last government when awarding the contract not only neglected the tender procedure , but , even in the case of a contractor who did not discharge his responsibilities duly , the insurance to cover losses resulting to the authority in such events had were not requested.
3. When the foreign contractors submitted their tenders , though the present government had stipulated that there must be an insurance cover satisfying the tender conditions of the authority , that decision is not made by the authority , but by the relevant contractor. Hence , the contractor can obtain an insurance certificate locally or from a foreign country , and the authority on the other hand has not called for tenders regarding insurance .
4. The most ludicrous and ridiculous part of this criticism is , while accusations are hurled that an illicit commission of Rs. 300 million has been collected , the total value of the insurance is only Rs. 200 million ! Nowhere in the world can there be an Insurance Co. paying a commission of Rs. 300 million on an insurance value of Rs. 200 million !
Some salient facts pertaining to the highway insurance must be revealed. Though request for an insurance certificate in respect of a highway construction may be something new in SL, in countries like England where Lanka e news is based , even when recording with cameras on the highways , the Institution to which the highways belong requests for an insurance certificate. This procedure is followed because , when recording even if a slight damage results to the highway , compensation can be claimed if those are insured. By requesting insurance certificates both parties are therefore protected.
During a time when the SL engineering companies are contributing fully , and the entire investment is via local bank funds with regard to the construction of new expressways in SL , and such measures must be most welcome , it is the considered opinion of Lanka e news, hurling baseless criticisms are detestable and only discourage local investments and our engineers . That is what constitutes true treason against the state .
Of course , one can profit only from criticisms. Whether it is the previous government or the present government , investigating their corruption is most imperative and important . But if baseless and false accusations are hurled, the fate that befell the shepherd who screamed ‘ wolf, wolf’ for lies in the old fable would befall the media too which publish canards . The time would come when no one will heed their stories however loud they may shout for the people to hear . It is hoped young journalists will pay heed to this advice.
by (2017-03-02 23:13:31)
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