Convener of the Ports Trade Union Alliance Niroshan Gorakanage alleges that it is suspected that a transaction of US $ 50 million (Rs. 10 billion) has taken place under the table during the purchase of 30 gantry and transfer cranes for the Port Authority East Terminal.
He said six gantry cranes and 34 transfer cranes are scheduled to be purchased from a Chinese company for US $ 250 million for the Eastern Terminal.
Although a state-owned bank has issued Letters of Credit for the purchase of the cranes, it is unclear what the motive is for trying to provide $ 50 million now, as the cranes are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka only in 2024.
It is reported that the State Bank is trying to release this amount from the dollar account belonging to the Ports Authority in the midst of the current economic crisis.