BOI Directors, Unions up in arms against Chairman and DG

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 13 2021
News BOI Directors, Unions up in arms against Chairman and DG

By Mario Andree

For the first time in the Board of Investment’s (BOI) 43-year history, All its Executive Directors, Directors and Unions have unanimously decided to unite against the actions taken by the Chairman, Sanjaya Mohottala and Director General Pasan Wanigasekara, claiming that certain measures taken by them were detrimental to the future existence of the BOI.

According to information received by Ceylon Today, the unity is against misuse of funds at the BOI.

They said the top management is attempting to privatise BOI zones and has taken steps to cripple the zone administration by deliberate cost cutting measures on essential services and maintenance.

Further, they alleged that the management was attempting to transform the BOI into a loss making entity by destabilising revenue generating departments and by misleading the Cabinet of Ministers to appoint 29 members of their friends and family on very high salary scales, though those individuals come with no proper qualifications or experience.

According to them some salary bills were around Rs 20 million.

Further, they said that the management and these appointees were planning to award service contracts to known private companies to perform the same duties of these special recruits by destabilising BOI Internal Departments.

The Deputy Director General (Marketing, Research and Talent Management), who was recruited, to increase the investment attraction portfolio, with a high salary plus allowances of around Rs 900,000 per month is now preparing documentation to award a new contract to Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) at an annual cost of 

Rs 1.3 billion, where the BOI Chairman is a senior executive.

The unity claims that they have the experience within the organisation to carry out the duties, which the management is now trying to award to a private firm.

All existing talented and experienced officers within the Board of Investment have been sidelined and the Chairman and Director General are working with a select group of their loyalists who do not have sufficient experience, they said.

The management also has initiated renovation of BOI offices at the 24th and 27th Floors at the West Tower of the World Trade Centre at a cost of Rs 80 million citing that investors were visiting these office spaces. However, according to the unity, investors visit the 26th floor for their documentation requirements.

The unity warned of potential future protests against such misuse of public funds.

Speaking to Ceylon Today, BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala denied the allegation levelled by the unity.

Commenting on the Deputy Director General’s (Marketing, Research and Talent Management) salary matter and the preparation to award a contract to BCG, he said that the private sector was paying higher salaries and it was difficult to attract proper talent without offering them the same. Further, the DDG as a single person was unable to manage worldwide promotional activities hence the decision to appoint a private firm. 

During a Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meeting held on Thursday (11) with the Board of Investment, COPE Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath questioned the appointment of seven officials with higher salaries bypassing the general procedure through Cabinet approval.

Commenting on the COPE issue and the actions by the unity, Mohottala said that they would be issuing a statement shortly explaining the issues. 

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 13 2021

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