Speaker instructs Minister to conduct special audit

Alleged misuse of Bandarawela road construction funds:

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday instructed Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faiszer Musthapha to conduct a special audit into an alleged misuse of money in Bandarawela by allocating funds twice for the construction of rural roads.

The Speaker made this observation yesterday when Badulla UNP Parliamentarian Chaminda Wijesiri brought to the notice of Parliament that Rs.4 million allocated by the Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry and directed to the Uva Provincial Council for construction of rural roads under the Development of 10,000 km Rural Roads Project has been misused.

Minister Musthapa asked the Parliamentarian to direct the copies of the letters to him and he would direct his officials to make a special audit inquiry.

However,a heated argument arose between MP Wijesiri and Minister Musthapha when the former alleged that the line ministry had sent funds to the District Development Coordination Committee. There had been a violation of the constitution. “MP should be aware that no line ministry sends funds to District Development Coordination Committees. It is done by the Provincial Councils,” the minister said.

However, the Speaker too agreed that the Minister was correct and there had been no violation of the Constitution but an investigation should be carried out if there had been a fraud.

MP Wijesiri said that the Ministry had allocated money on July 25 this year for development of 28 roads. The UVA Chief Minister had laid the foundation for some roads.

“Some projects have already been completed.The constructions of some are in progress.Money has already been allocated for some projects,” MP Wijesiri said. “Money also has been allocated for the construction of some roads in areas where any construction has been banned by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) due to the Uma Oya project issue. MP Sunil Handunetti said this matter could be brought before the Committee On Public Accounts and as for the Ministry a special audit inquiry could be made to find out if there is a fraud. 



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