The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) instructed Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to summon Litro Gas Lanka Limited and Litro Gas Terminal Lanka (Pvt) Ltd before the COPE and to conduct a government audit.
The COPE instructed so at the COPE meeting chaired by Prof. Charitha Herath in Parliament yesterday (07).
Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and Sarath Weerasekara, State Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Indika Anuruddha, Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Members of Parliament Anura Dissanayake, S.M. Marikkar, Jagath Pushpakumara, Rauf Hakeem, Harsha de Silva, S. Rasamanikkam, Premanath C Dolawatta were present at the meeting.
The COPE Chairman stated that Litro Gas Lanka Limited and Litro Gas Terminal Lanka (Pvt) Ltd have gone to court stating that they cannot be audited by the government, especially under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Prof. Charitha Herath explained that thus it is appropriate to refrain from discussing about these institutions. Prof. Herath also explained that the two institutions would not be able to be summoned to the COPE as they would not be subjected to the government audit and therefore the matter could not be discussed at length.
However, the members of the COPE were of the view that these institutions should be audited by the Government as Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation owns 99% of the shares in these two institutions. Therefore, the committee stressed that these institutions should be summoned to the COPE. The Committee instructed Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to expedite the summoning of Litro Gas Lanka Limited and Litro Gas Terminal Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. to the Committee.
The committee further stated that the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, which owns 99% of the shares, will be able to take a formal decision in this regard and further instructed to take necessary steps through the Board of Directors of Insurance Corporation .
In particular, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation as to which law firm would represent Litro in this legal situation and how much it would cost. But the chairman replied that he could not answer clearly as the officials of Litro were not here.
MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that even in such a situation, it is clear that Litro Limited needs to be summoned to the COPE Committee and this matter should be taken expeditiously. He pointed out that since the Sri Lanka Insurance could not provide an answer on behalf of those institutions without calling them, necessary action should be taken.
The officials of Sri Lanka Insurance further stated that although they were responsible for the shares of Litro Limited, they were not responsible for the administration of Litro Limited and would sell the shares if they incurred a loss.