|Saturday, 8 March 2003|
De-listing deserters to cost Rs 3.9 billion
by Ranil Wijayapala
The Sri Lanka Army will have to bear a loss of more than Rs. 3.9 billion due to its decision to de-list around 60,000 deserters without charging the basic and initial training costs from them, Army sources said yesterday.
However, the amount due to the Government by these deserters have not been finalised yet by the respective government authorities.
The Sri Lanka Army has decided to de-list around 60,000 deserters from its lists after recovering dues to the Government in the form of loans and other goods and weapons due to their respective Army units and Regiments.
A cabinet memorandum in this regard has been approved and the Army is waiting instructions from the Ministry of Defence to go ahead with their decision.
According to the Sri Lanka Army, it has to spend around Rs. 19,650 for the initial issues of a soldier like uniforms and other materials.
The Army bears a cost between Rs. 15,000 to 20,000 to provide basic training for a soldier and another Rs. 69,903 to provide them with initial training.
However, the cost incurred in providing training for a Army officer is much higher than the amount spend for the training of a soldier. Out of around 60,000 deserters there are 500 Army officers.
Of the total deserters 67 per cent have deserted the Army soon after their basic training and they have recorded only less than one year service.
Another 12 per cent of deserters have recorded only five to six year service in the Army.
According to a senior Army officer the Army had to delay their decision to issue discharge certificates to these deserters due to requests made by Public Administration Ministry and Local Government Authorities as there is no way for them to charge amounts due for them by these deserters.
Produced by Lake House