Written by Staff Writer
18 Jun, 2019 | 9:09 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The government sought approval in parliament today (June 18), for a supplementary estimate valued at Rs. 56,545 million to purchase vehicles and for several other matters.
Speaking in Parliament JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake said the supplementary estimate allocates Rs. 43 million to purchase a vehicle for the minister of land, another Rs. 42.9 million to purchase vehicles for the opposition leader and Rs. 19.9 million for the renovation of the official residence of the Minister of Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development.
He went onto note that Rs. 100 million rupees has been allocated for three parliamentarians, however, he stated following his inquiry from the state minister of finance, the government is yet to set up a program to support and provide financial relief to those who became permanently disabled in the 04/21 attacks. He questioned the government as to on what basis do they allocate funds?
Responding to this Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella noted that this is a lie because since 1989 he had been living in his house. MP Ratnayake, however, noted that on the 19th page of the supplementary budget estimate it is clearly stated that Rs. 19.9 million has been allocated through provision number 163. He said there are 158 headers under the provisions and questioned the leader of the house if the supplementary estimate report carries false information.
However, Minister Lakshman Kiriella stressed on the fact that he has been living in his house since 1989. Posing a question to all members of the opposition, he asked if anyone is against the decision to provide the opposition leader with cars.
Adding to this Minister Gayantha Karunatileka noted that he is the minister in charge of land and after being sworn into this ministerial position, he had never and will never purchase a new vehicle. Leader of the house went onto note that the supplementary estimate stating that funds have been allocated to renovate the official residence of the minister of Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development is false.
Minister Kiriella pointed out that the supplementary estimate also allocates funds to purchase vehicles for the opposition leader, therefore, he questioned if the opposition opposes this move. Responding to this Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that when he took over the position of the opposition leader, all vehicle assigned to the office were taken by the former opposition leader, R. Sampanthan. He noted that not just the vehicle, but also the official residence of the Opposition leader was taken by the former Opposition leader.
Minister Gayantha Karunatileka said there is something in the estimate that should be clarified. He noted that it has been 8 months since the deputy minister of land was sworn in and he still does not have a proper vehicle, therefore, he must be given a new vehicle.
When questioned if the government withdraws the supplementary estimate, Minister Kiriella noted that they withdraw the estimate and it will be presented once all the errors have been rectified. Although the supplementary estimate was withdrawn today, steps will be taken to present the supplementary estimate valued at Rs. 56,545 million to Parliament and obtain approval.
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