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19 foreign funded projects halted completely unutilising Rs.20.32 billion

The government has unutilized a massive sum of Rs.20.32 billion up to December 31 2022 by completely halting the construction work of 19 foreign funded projects at the beginning of this year, government auditor general’s department query revealed.

Some of these projects have not yet been started although the state treasury has spent millions of rupees even for such stalled infrastructure development projects.

The defunct nine projects included gin gana irrigation project, Kumbukkan oya project, and Morgahakanda- Kaluganga irrigation project and six more , audit inspection unearthed.

The government had to be paid a sum of Rs. 19 billion Commitment Charges uneconomically due to the failure to release the loans according to the agreed time schedule entered into with the respective lending institutions for the investment projects implemented in the country from 2012 to 2022.

Several weaknesses in the project operating units were mainly affected by these idle Commitment Charges.

These weaknesses included, failure to complete the land acquisitions prior to the commencement of projects, failure to get prior approvals to be obtained from various agencies, failure to carry out project operations according to initial plans.

19 projects under foreign aids amounting to US $3,644 million, Euro 52.00 million, Kuwaiti Dinar 10.00 million and Japanese yen 42,638 million equivalent to Rs. 626.47 billion were in operation.

Out of it, a sum of Rs. 395.05 billion or 63.06 percent had been spent by the end of the year 2022 under review.

Physical progress of the projects ranged from 0 per cent to 100 per cent and the majority of the projects were running on extensions of time.

Out of 19 projects, only 15 projects were ongoing during the year under review and actions had been taken to wind up 03 projects, the national audit office disclosed. Further, one project had been abandoned.

The total number of land plots acquired in 14 projects was 48715 and the number of plots handed over to theRoad Development Authority was only5052 or 10 percent under Section 44 of the Land Acquisition Act.

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