Media Minister flays former Secretary of the Ministry for deliberately delaying distribution of Laptops for Media personnel.
- Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:40
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Minister of Mass Media and Information strongly refuted the newspaper reports alleging that the 500 laptops purchased for distribution among the media personnel are gathering dust in the Ministry.
Responding to a question raised by a media personnel at the Cabinet Decision announcement Media Conference held at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information yesterday. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that on several occasions he instructed former Secretary of the Ministry to expedite the distribution of these laptops but he considers the failure to carry out his instructions by the former Secretary as a deliberate act done by the former Secretary. He said that in the progress review meeting of the Ministry held recently he instructed the new Secretary Dr. Charita Herath to expedite the distribution of these Laptops under a clear mechanism.
Explaining further, the Minister said the Ministry of Mass Media and Information is implementing several programmes to provide special concessions to the Media Institutions and Media personnel under the Mahinda Chintana – Future Vision. He said that these programmes include providing scholarship for media personnel to follow degree and diploma courses to enhance their professional knowledge, providing concessionary loans for the media personnel to purchase equipment (cameras, recorders etc.) required for their profession and providing of Laptops to the Media Institutions for distribution among the media personnel in such Institutions.
The Minister explained that calling tenders for the purchase of Laptops have been delayed until the 15th of December last month, and 11 proposals were received from 5 Institutions. Accordingly the Ministry has received Laptops worth Rs. 301,54,000.00 at a cost of Rs. 60,308 each and the total amount has been paid by the Ministry on 18th April, 2012.
He said that it is also not truce the statement made in the newspaper report that each Laptop had been purchased at a cost of Rs. 100,000.00. These laptops have a warranty period of one year from 05.04.2012 to 05.04.2013.
It is also untrue the mention being made in the newspaper report that the Minister did not provide an appointment (a date and time) to explain about the delay of distributing the Laptops. These Laptops were received in the Ministry in the month of April this year. The Minister said that he resumed duties after an accident in the month of May. He said that the Ministry had all the time necessary to distribute the Laptops, and it cannot be accepted saying that the Minister postponed a programme which was initiated by the Minister himself.
Explaining further, the Minister said that the day before the relevant news item was published, i.e. on 17.07.2012 in the meeting held after the new Secretary to the Ministry assumed duties for reviewing progress and the future plans of the Institutions coming under the Ministry, the Chairman of the Lake House and the Heads of State TV Institutions enquired about the distributions of the Laptops, and he explained to them that he instructed the former Secretary to the Ministry to expedite the distribution of these Laptops and he views delaying of this distribution as an act deliberately done by the former Secretary. He said that therefore, he instructed the new Secretary Dr. Charitha Herath to distribute the Laptops under a clear mechanism expeditiously. (niz)