tender procedure changes according to the amount of
- Deputy Director General, National Budget, Finance
Ministry, Lalith de Silva;
government tender procedure is a very detailed document.
The tender procedure changes according to the size of
the project and the estimate standards. Usually, if the
project estimate is under Rs. 100,000 tenders can be
called according to the institution regulations, but if
the amount exceeds Rs. 10 million it has to be approved
by the cabinet of ministers. For the sum of about Rs. 2
million, tender decisions can be made at ministry level.
If we are to take the 10,000 tank project, the tender
procedure changes according to the size and
specifications of each tank.
technical committee reports become necessary. How these
committees should be set up and function is also laid
out in the tender procedure.
the tender procedure is not going to be followed at a
specific point, then what happens there also is decided
based on the size and money required for the project. It
is difficult to answer without knowing the exact nature
and size of the project."
farming committees have been the sacrificial lambs to
get the funds passed for this project"
- Former Irrigation and Water Management Minister,
Gamini Jayewickrema Perera;
the great kings of Sri Lanka constructed tanks and
irrigation schemes in the county, it was D. S.
Senanayake who breathed new life into the irrigation
system with the construction of tanks like Kaudulla and
Girithale. The United National Party has always had a
policy of tank renovation and even when you go into
villages today you can see the results of these schemes.
is a life giving and precious resource. In the dry zone
of this country it is nature's most precious gift. But
what is happening today is that instead of understanding
this, various committees are being set up in the name of
irrigation to carry forward political agendas.
few months ago,
when I was Minister of Irrigation and I attempted to
repair some of the Mahaweli machinery and erect a new
tank, President Kumaratunga opposed my idea and told me
not to go ahead with it without involving the provincial
councils. We accepted that and even today, her stance on
this matter is correct.
tank committees have no legal basis whatsoever. They use
the farming committees which are recognised by the state
to get their funds passed but then the farming
committees don't have a clue as to what becomes of the
money. Soon, these committees will have to answer to the
law as to what became of the monies.
following tender procedure, today officials are going
ahead with the construction work on tanks with equipment
obtained from the private sector. They don't obtain
engineering or technical advice. It is important to get
proper advice from experienced engineers during the
renovation process. But since these people seem to know
it all, they don't need specialists' input. If this
continues, the people will curse them when they are left
without water during the next drought.
the tender system is followed or not, those who want to
steal will do it anyway"
- Agriculture, Lands, Irrigation, Animal Products,
Health and Tourism Minister, Western Provincial Council,
tanks smaller than 200 acres have to be renovated by the
provincial councils while the bigger tanks come under
the jurisdiction of the central government. That is what
the 13th Amendment stipulates. However, if tanks are
going to be constructed the proper way, it doesn't
matter whether the provincial council does it or the
central government does it. As long as the people
benefit from it.
Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake's 10,000 tanks
project, some tanks in the Western Province are also
being renovated. I have been involved with the Minister
on this matter.
are some elements trying to make out that there is a
conflict between the provincial councils and the central
government about the tank project. But I don't think we
need to become the pawns of that game.
contracts are awarded to build tanks, on some occasions
tenders are called, on others they are not called. What
I think is that whether tenders are called or not, those
who want to steal will steal anyway. There are instances
when one person sends tenders in seven or eight
different names with various amounts and then is awarded
one. That's how the tender system works in this country,
so whether tenders are called or not, it makes no
most important thing is not whether tenders are called
or not, but that the project work continues without
allegations of corruption. And I think we are proceeding