ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal has issued an interim order preventing the Board of Investment from barring waste recyclers who refused to make irregular payments to an ‘Amunugama Foundation’ to continue to serve industrial clients.
The petitioning waste recyclers complained to court that the Private Secretary of State Minister Dilum Amunugama had demanded that irregular payments to be made to be able to continue to take waste away from their client companies, after starting a new ‘registration’ process.
The demand was made at a workshop called by the Ministry of Investment Promotion to inform of a “the new system for registration of the purchasers and/or handlers of scrap and/or waste discharged from the factories in the area of authority and/or licensed zones.”
The fee was to be made in cash or cash check.
The waste recyclers said they had the required licenses including from the Central Environmental Authority and in any case could not make payments to a foundation which amounted to a bribe.
The waste recyclers told court were also bound by their contracts with the industries including through Anti-Bribery Policy and Safety policies preventing them from paying bribes.
The new registration scheme to collect payments “arbitrarily and illegally forced on them” risked losing their customers who have a strict anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy.
The State Minister and Private Secretary have no business to demand private payments that don’t go into the BOI or Consolidated Fund, the recyclers said.
They said that others have paid to be allowed to operate. The Petitioners say they don’t want to make corrupt payments and court should not allow such an illegal scheme.
On October 12 a lorry belonging to one of the petitioners were not allowed to enter the Horana Export Processing Zone by BoI staff.
Justices Sampath Wijeratne and A. Marikkar issued an order to allow the waste recycler to enter the BOI zones and take away scrap until the next court date of December 04.
Viran Corea with Thilini Vidanagamage instructed by Chamali Ranathunga appeared for the Petitioners.
Kamran Aziz appeared for State Minister Dilum Amunugama’s Private Secretary in objection to any interim being granted by court. Sanjeewa Dassanayake appeared for the State Minister and Nayomi Kahawita, SSC appeared for the BOI.