Vehicle permit debacle: 58 MPs vs  Parliamentary Reforms Ministry Secretary

Vehicle permit debacle: 58 MPs vs Parliamentary Reforms Ministry Secretary

Vehicle permit debacle: 58 MPs vs Parliamentary Reforms Ministry Secretary

Written by Tharushan Fernando

22 Dec, 2016 | 10:09 pm

A newspaper reported today that 58 MPs are planning to write to the president and the Prime Minister against the Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms who opposed to sign the documents to obtain vehicles under an operational lease facility.

The secretary had refused to sign these documents citing a number of various reasons. The paper article reported that 58 MPs are compiling a letter against the Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary affairs and Mass media citing that a secretary cannot challenge the decisions of the cabinet of ministers.

The issue cropped when attempts were made to obtain vehicles for 58 MPs under an operational lease facility. The secretary points out that even though cabinet approval was granted for the transaction, there is no transparency in it.

The secretary stated that the obtaining of vehicles for an amount of close to Rs.700 000 a month for 60 months, exceeds the tenure of the current government. In addition, the company that has been selected to obtain the vehicles had been rejected by the procurement committee of the cabinet and the technical evaluation committee.

When this issues first cropped up the President noted that this matter should be reviewed. It was the opinion of the President that the purchase of these vehicle should be transparent and in accordance with the state procurement procedures.

In such a backdrop a proposal to purchase the vehicles through the company in question was submitted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic activities. The proposal stated that a bond of Rs.350 million  will be granted to the said company through the Co-operative Insurance Company.

However the net worth of the company which has been selected to import these vehicles, is only Rs.15 million. Fifty eight (58) Ministers are thus preparing to go against the secretary regarding a deal struck under these circumstances. It should also be noted that the ministers who are to receive the vehicles have already be given tax free permits for the import of vehicles.

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