The COPE committee headed by Professor Charitha Herath examined the performance reports of the of the National Film Corporation for the fiscal years of 2016 and 2017.
COPE directed the National Film Corporation to take immediate action in order to recover outstanding loans amounting to Rs. 7,780,983 from 146 cinemas which were closed prior to 2001.
The COPE committee also questioned the National Film Corporation regarding the failure to implement a proposal made at the COPE committee meeting held on 24th March 2016 to formulate a program to modernise cinema halls.
It was also noted that by the end of 2019, the National Film Corporation maintained 09 current accounts and its average monthly balance was Rs. 29.2 million.
Professor Charitha Herath raised serious concerns over the lack of proper financial management governing the institution.
COPE also paid special attention regarding the failure to complete the construction of a museum and a film school named after Dr. Lester James Peries which commenced on April 05th, 2019 at an estimated cost of Rs. 99.9 million.
It was revealed that the approval of the Urban Development Authority had not been obtained for the project. COPE instructed the Chairman of the National Film Corporation, Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa to complete the project following the due process.
It was also revealed that two officers who had not been confirmed in a permanent position at the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2019 and another officer, had been appointed to fill the three vacancies existing in the National Film Corporation as acting officers and to perform duties with their salaries and allowances amounting to a total of Rs. 3,098,046.
The committee also paid special attention towards the non-recovery of the movie rental of Rs. 12,343,433 from the Maradana Cine City Cinema Hall from 2003 to 31st May 2016 as at March 2021.
It was also revealed that although Rs. 25 million had been allocated for the improvement of the production facilities of the University Studio in Kelaniya and Rs. 50 million had been allocated for the establishment of a film archive and restoration of films, the amount had not been utilized during the year under review. T
The COPE committee also paid special attention to the fact that out of the Rs. 50 million allocated for the establishment of a National Training School, only Rs. 500,000 was spent.
COPE also paid special attention to the fact that an action plan for the year 2020 has not been prepared in line with the 2020-2025 Combined Plan. (Colombo Gazette)