Billions of rupees of state funds were misappropriated in the Central Cultural Fund when Sajith Premadasa was the minister of cultural affairs in the good governance regime between 2015 and 2019, according to a report by the auditor general.
The AG’s report notes that staff maintenance had cost between 38 per cent and 58 pc of the CCF’s total expenditure during the period.
Archaeological excavations and preservations had received minimum allocations.
Excessive staff had been recruited, including positions not in the CCF’s cadre, says the report.
In 2017 alone, 3,401 more staff than required were recruited, with the excessive staff standing at 1,596 by 2019.
More than Rs. 479 million in 2018 and over Rs. 581 million in 2019 had been spent on their salary payments.
The CCF’s income in 2015 was Rs. 2.9 billion, while the spending amounted to Rs. 2.01 billion.
In 2019, with an income of Rs. 4.037 billion, it had spent Rs. 4.168 billion, a sum of Rs. 0.131 billion more than its income.
During 2018 and 2019, Rs. 321 million of CCF money had gone for various payments without following the procedures.