CPC a den of corruption

CPC a den of corruption

‘The institution (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation – CPC) is reeking with corruption by a few at the expense of the many,” comments the editorial in the Sunday Times – 17 March 2013.

The editorial refers to the revelations made by the Coalition against Corruption at a media conference last week.

The editorial titled ‘CPC a den of corruption’ states:

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been accused of heaping burden upon burden on the ordinary people of this country. In the past two years, there have been five price increases in petrol, diesel, kerosene and furnace oil impacting on people across the board and making their lives more and more difficult. CPC losses stand at Rs. 89 billion.

The CPC has tried its utmost to ‘pass the buck’, so to say, to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and other state and semi-state institutions like the military, Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihinair. That long standing excuse is only partly valid. Opposition lawmakers are accusing the Government of bypassing Parliament in the control of public finances. Annual reports by the Auditor General and the oversight committee COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) have ended up in the waste paper basket.

While the Bribery and Corruption Commission moves at the speed of greased lightning to investigate the Chief Justice 43 and her husband because of serious disagreements with the Government, rampant corruption within the CPC goes uninvestigated. No one was booked for the colossal losses in the hedging fiasco that cost the CPC millions upon millions not long ago. The culprits, in fact, are doing very well.

Just this week, details of corruption were unveiled at a media conference held by a public interest group at the OPA (Organisation of Professional Associations). About the same time, trade unionists at the CPC met the high-ups and gave documentary evidence of the import of Gas oil from Petro Viet Nam through a Singaporean company. They say the fraud amounts to more than Rs. one billion. Fuel from Vietnam is ordered by highly placed and influential persons in the Government, and their sons.

The imports that took place in 2011/12 are to continue. On Thursday, the Commercial High Court impounded a Vietnam vessel bringing contaminated crude oil to Trincomalee harbour. Moves to import Omani oil are only going to compound the situation because of its inferior quality.

Not only are the consumers having to pay more, they are being provided with inferior oil. What is wrong with this Government if it cannot put the CPC in order? Transferring the Minister or sacking the Chairman alone doesn’t help. The mafia continues. The institution is reeking with corruption by a few at the expense of the many.

/ English, News

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