At a time when the whole nation is aware that the forthcoming shortage of coal in the country will result in over 10-14 hours of power cuts, the heartless cronies and brainless officials are still engaged in tender bending to feed their own mouths sucking the last drop of blood left with the people of Sri Lanka.
It is no secret that their strategy is to keep dragging the awarding of tenders and then cancel them so that the current corrupt suppliers can keep supplying at higher prices and get advance payments in dollars.
The last three tenders which were called by Lanka Coal Company saw many new suppliers offering much lower prices and longer credit terms saving over Rs.30,000 million for Sri Lanka. But all that is of no use. Tenders got dragged and were finally cancelled. The story goes on where the old supplier then gets to supply as the country otherwise will not have sufficient stocks of coal to generate power.
It is sad that no other state company in the world runs a tender like this. There are more cancellations and amendments than awards and the prices we pay are the highest in the world. There is no credit. They take 100% advance payments when people of this country don’t have dollars to buy medicines, books and essential items.
The latest strategy is very interesting. This time they called for a tender for the fourth time and are now trying to award it to an unknown paper company in Hong Kong named ‘Combaast’.
‘Combaast’ has never handled even a gram of coal and the address given by them in Hong Kong is a fake one. They have not submitted any proof for their capability. Not even a bank support letter but have put a bid with a lower price saying they will give 200 days credit. It is so easy for them because this mega supply bid surprisingly does not call for even a ‘Bid Bond’. So what do they lose by putting a joke as a bid?
This is the new game to derail the coal supplies. The tender board will now say they are awarding the tender to ‘Combaast’ because their price is low and they are giving on credit. But in real life, the end result will be ‘Combaast’ unable to meet requirements and underperform where Lanka Coal Company could then proceed to justify using its old suppliers at much higher prices, hurriedly sending millions of dollars out of the country when it is faced with an acute dollar shortage, starving the innocent people of the nation in the process.
Sri Lanka has had enough of these dramas. The world is watching. It is time to call it a bluff and take the irresponsible officials who are a part of this ‘Combaast’ drama to task in public. Everyone including the President and Cabinet of Ministers should wake up. This is how our nation spiralled into darkness and we have never learnt anything from the past. The plundering continues in very innovative ways. They always find a way to rob the people and the nation is watching helplessly, ‘cursed’ for the fourth time in two months, for no fault of their own.
-By a special correspondent