Ministry of Power and Energy, B.M.S Batagoda is said to have sent a secret letter to the Procurement Appeal Board requesting that the tender to build the propose Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant be granted to a Chinese company disregarding the local company who had submitted the lowest bid to obtain the contract.
According to reports according to the recommendation of Batagoda, if the contract is granted to the Chinese company, the country is set to lose Rs. 50 Billion with the funds being diverted to China instead.
The tender which had caused much controversy in the country recently had been posed to be granted to a local company after the necessary technical and financial assessments were completed.
However ignoring the recommendations of the TEC committee and the Sri Lanka cabinet approved procurement committee (SCAPC) which he, himself is a part of Batagoda has vehemently opposed this move from the inception which was revealed by the Sathhanda newspaper as well.
At first, Batagoda had attempted to grant the contract to the Samsung company of South Korea however due to the serious errors in the tender bid of the company it was ruled out. Therefore he has been campaigning vigorously to handover the tender to GCL China instead.
An individual who was taken to task before the supreme court for purchasing coal out of the proper procedure is considered to be one of the most ineffective and questionable state sector officers and as this incident proves is also possibly a corrupt government official.
The local company which had quoted Rs. 14.97 per unit and was the lowest bid is also experienced in constructing Integrated Circuit Power Plants. However, the Chinese company which has no previous experience in such a project is said to have quoted Rs. 15.98 for per unit.
Once the plant which has a capacity of 350 MW is constructed, annually CEB is estimated to purchase around 2500 units from the plant. Therefore if the contract is given to the Chinese company the expected loss is massive.
However, sources say the letter consisting of serious errors sent by Batagoda had been drafted in favour of GCL China. But according to trustworthy sources, the most significant factor is the Secretary had sent in the letter presenting it as the official stance of the Ministry even though the Minister and the State Minister had no knowledge of the matter.
While working towards granting the contract to the Chinese firm and thereby making an undue profit Batagoda has also continuously delayed the tender process thereby pushing the country into an energy crisis forcing the CEB to make emergency power purchases to earn large commissions through the process.
Since being appointed as the Ministry Secretary, Batagoda has failed to even add one Megawatt of power to the National grid.
While the current government has taken steps to eradicate corruption from the state sector by introducing the Public service commission however corrupt individuals such as Batagoda becoming stronger and taking serious government decisions based on personal benefit is an unfortunate situation for the country.