Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, has been involved in several malpractices in investing money of the fund without proper accountability, parliamentary committee report revealed.
A special report submitted by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), established by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, reveals that the top management of the institution has taken a series of steps to vest state resources in private ownership in an informal manner.
The report states that the government approved the establishment of the SLIIT through the Cabinet Memorandum (98/995/11/052) presented on 01 April 1988 under the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund (Act No. 66 of 1981).
The government also established the Sri Lanka Information Technology Company (Limited by Guarantee) to run this institution until an Act was adopted for it.
The report points out that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund has given Rs. 500 million and its 25-acre land situated in Malabe as initial capital of the Sri Lanka Information technology Company.
The Committee says that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and the Company decided to appoint three persons of the University of Moratuwa, two persons from the Ministry of International Commerce and Food, Chairman of the Board of Investment and the Chairman of the Export Development Board to the Board of Directors of the Company.
“Out of the members appointed to the original Board of Directors of the SLIT Company representing the respective institutions as aforesaid, the three persons appointed from the University of Moratuwa and the then Chairman who was appointed at that time for his being the Chairman of the Board of Investment have remained in the posts of Directors uninterruptedly for over 23 years up to the present time (up until the year 2021).”
It concludes that during the yahapalana administration four agreements were entered into by the SLIT Company and the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and through these there was an attempt to remove Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund from the ownership of the SLIT.