COPE to probe Lotus Tower project

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has decided to launch a full scale investigation into the expenses incurred in the construction of the Lotus Tower in Colombo.

COPE Chairman MP Sunil Handunneththi said the committee will summon officials of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) and other institutions that have been involved in the construction of the Lotus Tower for questioning.

The Committee had made an inquiry with regard to the Lotus Tower on June 22, 2014 and the Auditor General had prepared a special report which had been presented to parliament on April 1, 2019, MP Handunneththi said.

The chairman said the COPE members MP Sujeewa Senasinghe and Minister Rauff Hakeem have also agreed that a date should be fixed for the COPE committee to be promptly convened over the matter.

President Maithripala Sirisena during the opening of the Lotus Tower on Monday (September 16) alleged that a Chinese company that entered into the tripartite agreement with the Exim Bank of China and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in 2012 had taken Rs. 2 billion as an advance and vanished.

The 350m Lotus Tower, considered as the tallest tower in South Asia was built at a cost of USD 104.3 million, about 80% of which was funded by a loan from the Exim Bank of China while the TRC has infused R. 4 billion.

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