Sunday Times- business pags
The Colombo Krrish Square scandal over alleged kickbacks received by a prominent official to secure the legal rights to develop the Transworks property at Colombo Fort is to claim its first victim setting the stage for a major shake-up in the country’s capital market regulator, informed official sources said.
The government has taken a decision to replace the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Dr Nalaka Godahewa whose name has figured in secret payments allegedly made to acquire the Transworks property and prime land to implement the Krrish mixed development project, these sources revealed.
The final 15 per cent payment to lease out the prime Transworks property at Colombo Fort is yet to be paid. It was due on July 31.
Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the Business Times that the Krrish Group was given more time to make its final payment, to the Urban development Authority (UDA), on the 99-year lease of the land in Colombo Fort. The company was given three extensions earlier to make the final payment with 12 per cent interest, he said adding that the government is waiting for a response from Krrish Group without taking any action in regard to this issue.
Meanwhile main opposition UNP Parliamentarian and economic expert Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the massive tax relief granted to this investor should be cancelled immediately and an impartial investigation launched to ascertain what exactly happened. The investigation must find out who were behind this secret transaction and blacklist all such persons so that hereafter Parliament will not be duped by such fly-by-night operators with connections to high places, he said.
Construction work of the project has come to a standstill and the massive hoardings advertising the Krrish towers have disappeared and no statements are forthcoming from anyone on the current status.