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Opposition demands probe into VFS Global ‘monopoly’ in SL’s visa services

May 05, Colombo (LNW): The Parliament of Sri Lanka must immediately investigate into the ongoing monopoly by VFS Global for visa services in Sri Lanka, said Opposition MP (Dr.) Harsha De Silva.

In a statement, Silva questioned the justification behind paying what he termed as ‘monopoly rent’ amounting to approximately Rs. 18 billion over the next twelve months, and highlighted that the total fees per visa amount to US$ 25.77.

This prompts scrutiny into the terms of reference (TOR) specified for such services, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP emphasised.

The Opposition’s concerns centre on the lack of transparency surrounding the cost of service provided by VFS Global, a company that facilitates visa application processes for various countries.

Dr. Silva called into question whether alternative options were thoroughly reviewed before entrusting VFS Global with this responsibility.

The Opposition MP also urged Parliament to take swift action to probe the circumstances surrounding the agreement with VFS Global.

He further stressed that this matter has never been referred to the Parliament Committee on Public Finances (CoPF) which considers matters related to public finances.

He, therefore, clarified that the problem is far worse in the backdrop of data entry and billing being not transparent.

The issue raises broader questions about the government’s approach to outsourcing essential services and the need for comprehensive oversight mechanisms to safeguard public interests. 

As Sri Lanka grapples with economic challenges and strives to enhance governance standards, it is imperative to address concerns related to procurement practices and ensure that public funds are utilised efficiently and effectively.

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