The two jetties in Trincomalee given to the private sector by the Ports Authority have not paid port charges for 19 years, said Wasantha Samarasinghe, Convenor of the Voices against Corruption organisation.
He added that even though the fees have not been paid, the Ports Authority had not taken any measures to collect them during the 19 year period from 2003 to 2022.
One company owes the Ports Authority USD 9,399,521 per year from 2003, while the other company owes USD 8,265,539 for the same period.
The Trincomalee harbour is Sri Lanka’s deepest natural harbour and has a work force of 470 port employees and 6 executive grade officials.
All ships entering a port has to pay port charges. However, the companies in question have paid all other charges except the port charges for the raw material shipments.
A standard fee is charged from a ship when entering the port and it is the same for the Trincomalee harbour.
The naval fee for a ship weighing over 30,000 tons is 32 USD per ton, and unloading charges are 1.50 USD per ton, and transport charges are 5 USD per ton.
He reiterated that this large sum of money should be immediately collected by the Ports Authority.