VW asked for $5mn bribe by ex-Sri Lanka regime: PM
ECONOMYNEXT – German automaker Volkswagen decided not to invest in Sri Lanka after members of the former regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa demanded a bribe of five million dollars, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.
Volkswagen wanted to set up a vehicle assembly plant in the North Western province with their local agent Senok, but were discouraged by the bribe demanded to expedite approvals, Wickremesinghe told parliament.
"The Volkswagen factory would have been set up much earlier if not for the former regime demanding a bribe of five million dollars," he said during the committee stage debate of the budget.
He said the Volkswagen diesel emission cheating scandal will not affect the company’s plans for an assembly plant at Kuliyapitiya in the Kurunegala district.
"I have spoken to the German ambassador and the Volkswagen authorities and they have assured me that there are not changes to their plans," Wickremesinghe said.
Education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, who is a member of parliament from the Kurunegala district, said the VW local agent has already paid for a land in Kuliyapitiya and environmental approvals were awaited to start construction.
About 100 to 200 people will be employed directly at the plant which will assemble vehicle for the export market (COLOMBO, Dec 19, 2015)