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Minister accuses SLRC officials of mismanagement

State Minister of Defence & Mass Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and Former Working Director SLBC Sanjeewa Wijegunawardena said that the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) was facing a serious financial crisis.

The two officials were speaking at a press conference held in Colombo today.

The press conference was called to express concerns over the President’s decision on SLRC and the impending financial crisis of the corporation.

According to Wijegunawardena, SLRC had been losing close to Rs.300 Million annually.

The Minister added that in May, a sum of Rs. 450 Mn was requested by SLRC from the treasury to pay salaries but had been rejected at a Pre-cabinet meeting as the corporation had not shown promising results.

Wijegunawardena pointed out, that the SLRC required Rs. 200 Mn a month to break-even.

He said in the last six months the corporation has been making only Rs. 120 to Rs 140 Mn and had been facing an average loss of Rs. 60 to Rs 80 Mn monthly.

He said immediate payables to suppliers were over Rs 100 Mn.

Wijegunawardena said the corporation was currently running on advertisement income gained from the the screening of the World Cup.

“SLRC will be stuck for cash as it is currently using the World Cup advertisement income to pay salaries.”

He said World cup related costs were yet to be covered.

He added that a sum of $1.8 Mn equal to Rs. 360 Mn had to be paid to Star Sports as rights payments.

“For this payment a Bank Guarantee has been issued by Bank of Ceylon and is due in December. The bank guarantee will be forfeited as SLRC will be stuck for cash. Once BOC pays this amount SLRC will eventually collapse.”

“I am ashamed to say Cheques worth 2000, 3000 rupee are bouncing back.”

Wijegunawardena noted that even the Auditor General in his report had questioned whether the corporation could run further

According to Wijegunawardena SLRC’s  financial crisis began in 2014 and had worsened in 2017 mainly due to mismanagement.