Jun 01, 2020

Ashok Steel & and RS Steel, leading fraudsters? Featured

The National Movement for the Protection of Consumer Rights allege that steel magnates - Ashok Steel Industries (Pvt) Ltd and IWW Steel Industries (Pvt.) Ltd have been engaged in fraudulent activities for years by producing concrete reinforcing bars (rebars) of inferior quality.

A tense situation had erupted when the a group including the  chairman of the movement - Ranjith Vithanage had recently gone to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), urging to test the quality of these substandard products.

Although these companies have obtained the SLS Quality Assurance Certificate awarded by the Standards Institution, in reality, their rebars do not meet the standards, the National Movement for the Protection of Consumer Rights say.

They also accused that the Chairman of the CAA - Retired Major General Shantha Dissanayake is not taking any action with regard to the fraud.

When we made inquiries on this from Mr. Vithanage, he said that the the SLS certification is compulsory for the production of rebars but the existence of the certificate does not necessarily mean that these products are of good quality.

He said that there is a certain number of rebars that could be produced from a tonne of steel while retaining the standard quality.

Noting that the maximum number of quality rebars that can be produced from a tonne of steel is 283, Mr. Vithanage allege that the above two companies are producing between 283 - 320 rebars instead.

By making substandard products in this manner, they earn a profit of Rs. 16,000 per tonne of steel, he said.

The revelation made by Mr. Vithanage on this regard is as follows : (Video)

The Philanthropist & the Indian company

IWW Steel Industries (Pvt.) Ltd is owned by well known philanthropist -  Dr. Ramesh Sivalingam, who is also known for spending money on music videos.

Dr. Sivajilingam recently landed in the centre of controversy after a photo of him with popular model - Hasini Samuels made rounds on social media.

Meanwhile, Ashok Steel Industries (Pvt) Ltd is an Indian subsidiary of Ashok Magnetics Ltd.

'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns that there are around 15 steel companies in Sri Lanka who are facing the above allegations as well.

In Sri Lanka around 45,000 MT of rebars (which are used to reinforce concrete in constructions) are sold every month.

Meanwhile it is also reported that the government is losing nearly Rs. 05 billion in tax revenue annually due to a massive tax fraud carried out by these relevant steel manufacturing companies.

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