CEB Chairman fires out letters to his top managers demanding explanation on irregular payments

Apr 28 (IL) Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman Ananda Gunasekara has fired out letters to his top managers demanding them to explain as to why they have been receiving multiple allowances for the same job they perform, sources said yesterday.

The letters were sent out after the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) several weeks back questioned the CEB chairman with regards to these irregular payments.

However sources claimed that even though it has been many days since the letters were sent out, these managers have till date not responded to the letters, which has demanded the immediate explanation.

The Parliamentary Committee had also directed the CEB Chairman to investigate the matter and reports the findings to them as soon as possible.

It has been alleged that several senior CEB engineers including a very high-ranking official has been receiving a project allowance equivalent to 1/3 of his salary. However, under the Management Circular 10 of the Ministry of Finance, only the project staff directly involved in foreign-funded projects fulfilling a certain criteria is entitled to such allowances. The eligible project staff includes project directors and project engineers. The high-ranking official and Additional General Mangers who currently receive this project allowance in the CEB cannot qualify for the project allowance under the applicable Government Circulars.

“What is even more surprising is that these same top managers also receive a disturbance allowance which is paid to officials who are on call as part of their job. Again, it is unethical for the head of the organization and other senior managers to claim that they are on call 24 hours a day and receive any monetary benefits on account of that,” the sources noted.