Letter to PM over company formation RDA employees address fear of massive financial loss

  • Loss of Rs. 1 b annually to RDA
  • Loss of only source of income for RDA

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa 

Trade unions attached to the Road Development Authority (RDA) have raised concerns over the cabinet decision to set up a new company to manage expressways and establish the existing Expressway Operations Division and all the expressway construction projects as a separate company under the General Treasury.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Road Development Employees Union (RDEU) stressed there was a serious concern among the employees that the RDA may lose nearly Rs. 1 billion in annual earnings from investments.

They also stressed that as a result, the RDA would not be able to pay the salaries and other benefits of the employees as usual.

“The maintenance of the national highway system and the construction of new highways have been statutorily entrusted to the RDA since 1986 and while the RDA is fulfilling that responsibility, the revenue of the Expressway Operations Division has been established,” the letter stated.

RDEU President B.M.D.K. Bandaranaike stated: “The separation of the Expressway Operations Division from the authority will affect the payment of salaries and other benefits to the nearly 12,000 employees of the authority, and result in the loss of the only source of income for the authority to earn money for public work expenses.”

While vehemently opposing the proposal made by the PM, the RDEU has requested for the immediate withdrawal of the decision, and to maintain the authority as it is now.