COLOMBO (News 1st)- Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti revealed in Parliament today (August 22) the details of an attempt to extend the tenure of the General Manager of Peoples bank who draws a monthly salary of Rs. 2.1 mn.
Handunetti stated that a proposal was put forward to COPE seeking a one-year service extension for the General Manager of People’s Bank even after he completes 60 years. General Manager Wasantha Kumar had joined the bank in 2001 on contract basis for a payment of Rs. 100,000 a month and at present, he is being paid Rs. 2.1 Million and had obtained Rs. 75 million as arrears in annual salary increments.
The JVP MP stated that COPE had rejected the request for a service extension and that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprise had accepted the COPE recommendation.
State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Harsha De Silva joined the debate in defence of the high salaries being paid to professionals noting that when it comes to State and Financial institutions the government has to have the ability to appoint people to the top positions. The Minister also continued to say that heads of these institutions should be paid high salaries in order to ensure that the relevant state institutions perform well.
UPFA MP, Bandula Gunawardene reacted to the statement noting that if this was true SriLankan airlines should have been in a much better situation as it’s former CEO drew a monthly salary of over Rs. 3 million a month.
In situations where the trade unions of the country had raised questions about their rights, the government had pointed out that they receive exorbitant salaries. Even when the GMOA and the Railway trade unions held protests the government still spoke about the salaries and the benefits that these people received.
Why had the government not spoken about officials who received salaries of Rs. 2.1 million?