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“Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) can no more bear other’s burdens. Petroleum Corporation cannot supply fuel to corrupted entities Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Air and getting the blame. At the sametime the era of paying taxes to the government by borrowed money from people’s bank and the Bank of Ceylon to set off government expenditure has passed. We are not paying taxes against the Petroleum Corporation act. Taxes need to be paid from your profits. Hereafter we are not allowing any politicians, kings or the corrupt people around the palace to depend from the compensation by corporation.” said Mr.Patali Champika Ranawaka, the minister of power and electricity”.
He made these comments on an occasion held at the Sapugaskanda refinery 20th evening. This event had been organized to appraise employees who have worked for more than 30 years. Gold souvenirs were presented to those employees by the Minister Ranawaka. Then the minister observed the refinery process and the premises. Minister Ranawaka further expressing his views at the employee gathering said,
“Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is the biggest establishment with the government ownership with respect to the money that they handle. Annually this organization handles Rs. 400-500 billions. The next biggest is the Ceylon Electricity Board. Therefore, these two powerful entities along with the other entities attached to them are very important to this country economically and financially.
When Sri Lanka was receiving the independence, a set of educated people had been appointed to take forward the activities in the energy sector. Mr. D.J Wimalasurendra was appointed to take care of electricity. After he was appointed to the parliament in 1936, he forwarded a special plan to build up a domestic electricity system. The Lakshapana power station had created as a result of that plan.
The national plan which presented in 1952 emphasized the necessity of building up a oil refinery for Sri Lanka. We got this refinery as we have acted towards the objective without any political bias. But the refinery had not improved during the past era. This refinery supplies only 30% of the total requirement of the country. And also its efficiency is at a lower level.
Recently a mid-term plan has been prepared for the electricity and energy sector. One important part of that plan is to bring the self sufficiency to the country through gas and fuel. Now there is a reliable sign from the Mannar basin of the availability of gas. Our expectation is to use the deposit in the future for the requirements of the country. We will take the necessary steps on next October to start excavations. Our expectation is to be self sifficient with energy as we have achieved from our paddy cultivation.
We have to develop the oil sector in the country into a stable position. Some trade unions are protesting for their own popularity that there are frauds and corruptions in the petroleum corporation. They are further saying that the corporation is going to be sold out. I would like to say responsibly that in the future, we manage the petroleum corporation to a position without any financial loss. I have informed this to the director board, the cabinet and to the minister of finance.
We know about the people who had spent billions of rupees of this corporation to purchase palaces in foreign countries. We have to put a fullstop to that era. At the sametime we know people who have deposited billions to their own accounts. We will purchase fuel in the future only through a tender procedure. We’ll say proudly, if there are corruptions and frauds we’ll take stern actions to eliminate them. Two contracts out from every five contracts to supply fuel had been used to import fuel without tender practices. Other three tenders also carried with no- formalities. Therefore, I cancelled these five contracts with the approval of cabinet.
Any institution under my purview had not fallen back until now. Instead they had developed. But there are people who are getting hurt from it. We know who the people behind moves of corruptions are. We are not getting discourage from their activities. I need the support of all employees without any political ideology to make this institution a strong, important, methodical, and a magnificent one”. He said.