Concerns have been raised as to whether the Northern province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran has violated a treasury circular in forwarding funds allocated for several projects for 2014 to be continued until March 2015.
This week the Opposition leader of the Council, S. Thavarajah had pointed out that the financial statements of the Northern Provincial Council as at December 31, 2014 published in the Council website contains distorted accounts.
During a meeting of the Board of Ministers held on December 30, some 128 work programs worth Rs. 690,704,473.24 had been approved to be forwarded up to March 31 and it was to be carried out through financial allocations made for 2014.
However, contrary to the meeting decision, the Finance progress report of the council uploaded on the website states the outstanding amount for these programs for 2014 is only Rs. 16,520,000.
When the Chief Minister was questioned on the anomaly by the Opposition leader, he had had replied that due to various reasons the full amount allocated by the government for 2014 could not be spent and therefore, the project will be forwarded to March of this year.
He had also noted that he is unaware of the anomaly contained in the online accounts of the NPC finances and had said that therefore he does not wish to comment on it.
However, the Opposition leader had referred to the Treasury circular issued on November 4 last year no: 238/2014 which states that forwarding of finances unspent for a particularly year requires special approval from the Treasury but the CM had not responded to his statement.
Although several attempts were made by Colombo Telegraph to contact the CM for a comment on the issue, he was unreachable.
We publish below the statement in full;
Distorted Accounts Published by the Northern Provincial Council
Northern Provincial Council Financial Statement as at 31st December 2014 published in the NPC website is a distorted accounts. The Leader of Opposition pointed it out during the question time in the council on 24th February 2015.
According to the minutes of the Board of Minister’s meeting, NPC, held on 30.12.2014, approval was granted to carry forward 128 work programmes totally amounting to Rs. 690,704,473.24 up to 31st March 2015 and this to be undertaken out of the allocation for the year of 2014.
However in the Financial Progress report as on 31st December 2014, published in the NPC website, the unspent amount in respect of these programmes for the year 2014 is shown as Rs. 16,520,000.00
When Leader of opposition questioned Hon Justice C.V Wigneswaran, Chief Minister and Minister of the Finance, as to how the NPC Accounts shows all the money allocated by the government for the year 2014 as expended, except Rs.16,520,000.00, as on 31.12.2014, while on the previous day the Board of Ministers had approved to carry forward programmes of works amounting to Rs.690,704,473.24 up to 31.03.2015.
The Chief Minister’s reply was that day due to various reasons they could not spent all the money allocated by the government before the end of the year, hence they decided to carry forward the work until March 2015. Further he said that he didn’t know about the accounts published in the NPC website and declined to reply why distorted figures are shown in the accounts.
When the Leader of Opposition read out the Circular instruction from the Treasury (238/2014 dated 4th Nov. 2014 – Closing Accounts for the year 2014) that keeping in deposit of the money unspent needs special approval from the Treasury, the Chief Minister could not answer.
Leader of Opposition,
Northern Provincial Council.