Written by Tharushan Fernando
09 Jun, 2015 | 9:01 pm
UPFA MP Prof. Rajeeva Wijesinghe on July 9 questioned in parliament why the Parliamentary Advisory Committee has not convened over past few months.
He added that the committees should meet once in three months and this contains reports of only four such meetings. He added that the prime minister had assured that the committees will meet at an early stage to bring forth the report on the alleged corruption at the Central Bank and that there is a committee to enact the standing orders, but that committee has not held talks for four months either.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in reply stated that it was recommended that the advisory committee should convene, but the speaker had announced that it should be taken up with the COPE Committee and that the decision awaited by the COPE committee as it’s not right to receive the decision of both.
Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said the prime minister should pay attention to convene monthly meetings with advisory committees of the respective ministries.
Opposition Leader, Nimal Siripala de Silva stated that reports received from a number of locations in the country show pledges to increase the payment for Samurdhi beneficiaries by 200 percent, to provide relief by granting zero interest rates on pawned jewelry at a rate of Rs. 250,000 rupees and to provide relief for senior citizens have not been fulfilled.
He added that it has also been reported that the senior citizens who were promised a sum of Rs. 2000 per month, who arrive at a number of post offices have returned home empty handed and that people who arrived at banks with the hope of receiving the relief were told that such a system has not been implemented.
Deputy Minister of Policy Planning & Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, noted that the allocation of Rs. 3,000 for senior citizens is not sufficient and there is a process of allocating up to Rs. 5,600 million. He further noted that the ones who would want to withdraw pawned jewelry will be at a disadvantage as the price of gold is reducing in the world market and therefore, many have refrained from coming forward to receive the benefit. He went on to add that, regarding the Samurdhi beneficiaries, allocations of up to Rs. 19,610 million have been made including the months of April and June.
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