Written by Staff Writer
08 Aug, 2018 | 10:31 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Various views are being expressed about the salaries that are granted to Parliamentarians and Ministers. Here are some of the views that were expressed on Wednesday (Aug. 8th) on this subject.
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka stated that his salary is Rs. 65,000 and that he is taxed Rs. 67,500. He noted that if he served as an engineer he would be earning a salary 10 times more than what he earns at present. He also mentioned that he is facing serious issues because of this increase\and that he has informed the Finance Ministry to look into the matter.
Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka stated that 50% of the remuneration he receives if the petrol and diesel allowance. He notes that the fuel allowance comes up to around Rs. 150,000. The Field Marshal went onto note that he receives a total sum of around Rs. 350,000 and that this is a sum that is enough for a bachelor to survive on.
General Secretary of the United National Freedom Front, Attorney-at-Law, Maithri Gunaratne states that while attempts are being made to increase the salaries of parliamentarians by 215% on one hand, one the other the Government is silently working to increase the allowances granted to their MPs.
He noted that the Government is attempting to provide these monitoring MPs appointed for Gamperaliya with perks such as an additional staff of 7 people, two mobile phones, a car and several other benefits. Gunaratne claims that is unfair to keep telling the people that they are imposing taxes to pay the debts of the past administration when the current Government engages in such acts.
Most of the newspapers today reported that President Maithripala Sirisena had turned down a Cabinet paper submitted by the Prime Minister seeking a vehicle, unlimited fuel, an office, a monthly allowance, a staff of seven, two mobile phones for UNP Monitoring MPs. However, Minister Rajitha Senaratne states that a cabinet paper was not rejected but was postponed to the next week.
In addition, the President had reportedly rejected the Cabinet paper put forward by Minister Malik Samarawickrama seeking to allow ministers to retain private lawyers at government expense in fundamental rights cases filed against them.
DEFENDING THE GOVERNMENT
Addressing the Cabinet media briefing held on Wednesday (Aug 8th) Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka attempted to justify the Prime Ministers proposal to grant additional benefits to monitoring MPs of the Government.
Minister Gayantha Karunatileka stated that Gam Peraliya is a massive development drive where a large sum of money is being used. He noted that as the burden of supervising this cannot be borne by the Divisional Secretariats and their staff. Karunathilaka stated that an expert committee had proposed that the Monitoring MPs be given staff and facilities to expedite the supervision process.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne commenting on the same issue stated that this project needs to be completed urgently and that giving the Monitoring MP’s an incentive will speed the process.
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