The National Audit Office’s special audit report on the controversial purchase of 96,000 metric tons of organic fertilizer from a Chinese supplier reveals that the Sri Lankan government suffered a loss of Rs. 1,382 million in the process.
The report, released in August 2022, also notes that all officials responsible for causing loss to the government by releasing funds to purchase the Chinese fertilizer shipment in question should be prosecuted.
In 2021, the then government granted permission to import organic fertilizer from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. in China, as his attempts to transform the island’s agriculture into fully organic farming have failed.
The audit report revealed that the National Plant Quarantine Services (NPQS) of Sri Lanka had observed the destructive bacteria Erwinia and Bacillus which cause disease and that the fertilizer samples had not been sterilized.
In the context of this report, the special technical evaluation committee appointed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture at the time recommended that the shipment of organic fertilizer concerned be imported. Based on these recommendations, Ceylon Fertilizer Company and Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company Limited opened Letters of Credit (LC) to facilitate the import of this fertilizer shipment, the report adds.