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National American Producers Association Urges Prez to Punish Perpetrators

Shamindra Ferdinand

The United States Producers Association (URPA) claims that Rs 1.3 billion worth of paddy stocks procured by the government for the 2019/2020 Maha, 2020 Yala, 2020/2021 Maha and 2021 Yala seasons have not been accounted for.

In a letter dated January 5, URPA Chairman WDK Mudisa Perera told President Ranil Wickleminghe that the paddy stock in question would be milled by a small operator and then sold through a distributor in Satsa. informed that it was scheduled to be But those plans never came to fruition, Perera said, adding that as many as 5,800,000 kilograms of paddy were missing.

Mudisa Perera said island He confirmed that he had copied the letter to the presidents of the parliamentary oversight bodies COPE, COPA, COPF, the auditors, the president of CIABOC, the director of the CID, and the secretaries of finance, administration and agriculture.

URPA has revealed how government officials at all levels responsible for implementing projects in Polonnaruwa, Puttalam and Trincomalee districts have sold some of their shares to the private sector. Affordable. According to Muditha Perera, paddy stocks procured at 50-55 rupees per kilo could easily have been sold for less than 100 rupees.

Unionists pointed out that department secretaries refrained from releasing available stocks even when a kilogram of rice rose from 250 to 300 rupees last June.

Muditha Perera criticized the Ministry of Finance’s failure to oversee the overall implementation of the project. The Ministry of Finance, which released the necessary funds for the paddy purchase plan, could not turn a blind eye to what was happening in the paddy producing areas.

Then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa served as Minister of Finance from November 2019 to June 2021. Basil was succeeded by his Rajapaksa in June and removed from the Cabinet in April 2022. Ali Sabry of PC held the financial portfolio for several weeks. Before Ranil Wickremesinghe took over his Sabry in late May 2022.

SR Attygalle served as Secretary of the Treasury.

Mdisha Perera said Polonnaruwa District Commissioner was very conveniently unable to take corrective action despite being informed of corruption and manipulation throughout the process on December 3, 2020 . Mudisa Perera accused the district commissioner of letting the racket go on for his two years and said Agriculture Director Polonnaruwa suppressed information sought under the Right to Information Act.

Muditha Perera claimed that major millers profited from rackets.

According to him, the Polonnaruwa district clerk delayed responding to his association’s right of inquiry for two years while the Puttalam district clerk was still trying to sidestep the issue.

Muditha Perera said the government could have avoided huge losses had the Treasury Department acted following the disclosure of fraud in the scheme by SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva. The revelation was made during the December 4, 2020 budget debate, Muditha Perera said.

The association claimed the whole process was corrupt and despite the issue being raised in parliament, those responsible said the state governments of Polonnaruwa, Puttalam and Trincomalee had robbed the finance ministry and were struggling to make ends meet. allowed people who are in poverty to refuse affordable rice. price.

Citing media reports of rice donations from China, India, Myanmar and even Tamil Nadu, as well as important imports when the country was hit by a severe balance of payments crisis, Muditha Perera said the government claimed to have allowed corrupt officials to freehand.

“We should be ashamed of ourselves,” Mudisa Perera said, arguing that the larger fraud appears to be facilitated by power. Donald Trump to allow Facebook and Instagram to reopen – The Island

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