COPE probe into irregularities of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation

  • Dishonesty withing the Corporation cause a loss of Rs. 3,416 million – COPE insists on holding the corporation’s officials accountable
  • Committee’s displeasure that public has to bear an additional cost of fuel due to excessive commission paid to distributors – Officials responsible not in the country

It was disclosed at the Committee on Public Enterprises that due to dishonesty existing within the Corporation and the deliberate delay of 08 years and 08 months in issuing the relevant circular to the filling station owners by the marketing department of the Corporation, the Corporation has incurred a loss of Rs. 3,416 million for the period 2014-2022. In such context, COPE was of the view that the marketing department should assume responsibility for committing a large-scale fraud to the Corporation.

This matter was taken up for discussion recently (19) when the Committee on Public Enterprises met under the Chairmanship of Hon. Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Member of Parliament, to examine the Auditor General’s report for the year 2022 and the current status of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

The Committee expressed its strong displeasure whilst insisting on holding the corporation’s officials accountable. Furthermore, COPE reiterating to the high officials present that the internal officials of the Corporation are clearly responsible for such acts of fraud, inquired as to what actions the Corporation has taken in this regard thus far.

Furthermore, COPE directed the CAO/AO a report be submitted to the Committee within 7 working days containing the list of names of those affiliated to committing the fraud and the measures the Corporation has taken to hold such officials accountable for their wrong doings.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the public had to bear an additional cost for fuel due to the payment of Rs. 31,021.07 million as extra commission to the distributors.

Due to the overpayment made by the officials, COPE disclosed that the customer has to pay Rs. 5.85 for a liter of 92 petrol, Rs. 7.50 for a liter of 95 petrol, Rs. 5.88 for LED and Rs. 6.96 for LSD in excess as of the calculations to date (19).

The Committee also inquired regarding the commission which was paid in excess for the year 2022 which has been accounted as a sales expenditure when it should have been entered as a receivable. Accordingly, the Committee further inquired about the officials responsible for the recovery of these overpayments and the action taken in this regard.

It was also disclosed at COPE that the officials responsible for the said is no longer in the country.

The Committee on Public Enterprises directed the CAO/AO to submit a comprehensive report within two weeks containing the list of names of those affiliated to committing such financial fraud and to make a complaint to the CID for investigations in parallel with the internal investigations.

State Ministers Hon. Indika Anuruddha and Hon. Shantha Bandara, Members of Parliament Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara, Hon. U. K. Sumith Udukumbura, Hon. (Major) Sudarshana Denipitiya, Hon. Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, Hon. M. Rameshwaran, and Hon. Madhura Withanage were present at this Committee meeting held.