Apr 17, 2019

Sri Lanka incurs billions in losses due to Korean LED contract! Featured

The Sri Lankan Government is said to have incurred a loss of around Rs. 16,500 million over the contract given to a Korean Telecom Company KT Corporation to replace the currently used normal street lights with LED lights in the Colombo and other main cities, install a public Wi-Fi and security cameras.

Cabinet approval was received last week to grant the contract to the Korean Company based on a proposal submitted by Minister Vajira Abeywardena.

It is reported that the Swiss Challenge method had not been used in selecting the said contractor.

Had the Swiss Challenge method been applied several internationally reputed companies would have bid for this contract to install energy efficient LED lights, but as this method was not followed they had not bid for this contract, it is reported.

However, these reputed companies had prepared a list of proposals and handed it over to several prominent government ministers. Germany’s Siemans company had also presented a proposal, but it was ignored.

It is reported that in 2017 the then minister Faiszer Mustapha had also attempted to grant this contract to this company but as the minister had ignored the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Management, approval was denied for the go ahead.

Therefore, it is highly suspicious that just six months after Minister Abeywardena had assumed duties, this contract was again given to the same company.

Korean Telecom actions unacceptable

Meanwhile, international media had reported that the CEO of this company had maintained a special fund in order to be used to bribe officials involved in the decision making process for these projects.

The said Korean company is renowned for their expertise on information technology and although they have taken on the LED project, they would be subcontracting another company to manufacture the LED lamps and for technical assistance, it is reported.