Govt. taking steps to recover money from Avant-Garde - Ruwan


By Saman Indrajith

State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardana told Parliament yesterday that the Defence Ministry was taking steps to recover the money due from the Avant Garde to both the Sri Lankan Navy and Rakna Lanka.

In answer to a question raised by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa, Wijewardana said that Avant Garde had raked in Rs. 11,329 million from April 2011 to March 2014 and a profit of Rs, 1,260 million had been made for the same period.

 Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake pointed out that Avant Garde was required to share a certain percentage of its profits with Rakna Lanka in keeping with their agreements and that the shares had not been duly paid in the past several years.

The State Defence Minister said that the Defence Ministry was currently in the process of obtaining the money and that Avant Garde owed money to the Sri Lankan Navy as well.

The Minister agreed to table the agreements between Avant Garde and Rakna Lanka and the amounts due to be paid by one to the other.

According to the answer tabled by the Minister, Avant Garde paid Rs. 42 million as Economic Service Charges from April 2011 to March 2015 and Rs. 20 million as Divisional Tax for the same period. It paid Rs. 30 million as PAYE from April 2014 to March 2015 but failed to pay PAYE from April 2011 to March 2014.  

The State Minister said that there had been no agreement between the Sri Lankan Navy and Avant Garde though the former had provided security to MV Mahanuwara vessel used as a floating armory by Avant Garde Maritime Company.

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