Rs. 300 million commission collection story on Highways’ insurance is a canard !

(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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