A supplementary estimate of Rs. 2000 million to settle the cost incurred by previous government

A supplementary estimate of Rs. 2000 million to settle the cost incurred by previous government

A supplementary estimate of Rs. 2000 million to settle the cost incurred by previous government

Written by Staff Writer

05 Feb, 2020 | 9:07 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The Prime Minister today presented a Vote On Account before Parliament to pay debts owed for projects funded by foreign borrowing done under the previous Government. While the Prime Minister stated that he requires the support of the Opposition to pass the Vote on Account, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa stated that the matter must be debated.

The Prime Minister noted;

“I will now present expenses that were borne until the end of December 2019, that have not been settled. The Ministry of Health currently owes Rs. 25.7 billion rupees to suppliers for medicines that they have supplied. The Finance Ministry owes Rs. 45.9 billion to banks for the relief loan scheme offered to senior citizens. A sum of Rs 23.9 billion is owed to fertilizer suppliers to cover expenses related to the fertilizer subsidy, which has led to the breakdown in the supply of fertilizer. Bills amounting to Rs 5.5 billion is owed for the purpose of recurrent expenses including the armed forces. Rs 18.4 billion is owed to contractors for the purpose of road construction. Rs 6.8 billion must be paid to contractors for urban development. Rs 2.8 billion rupees must be paid to contractors of school development projects. The Gam Peraliya program, Northern Regional Development and Resettlement projects have led to Rs 3.1 billion  left unpaid. Rs 3.8 billion is owed for projects of the Provincial Councils and District Secretaries. Rs 1.9 billion rupees has not been paid for projects under the Water Supply and Higher Education Ministry. Rs 6.6 billion has not been paid for projects conducted under the Ministry of Waterways and Village Economy. Rs 13.2 billion is owed to suppliers who have completed other projects, and following which, more than two months have elapsed. These institutions have not paid Rs 101 billion of recurrent expenses, and Rs 55 billion in capital expenses to these suppliers. Rs 211 billion has been spent without being made available under due provisions. As a result, it is not possible to account for these expenses. As per the Central Bank, of the 42 Financial Institutions, nearly 20 are facing financial difficulties. We believe that it is a responsibility of the Central Bank to help these institutions mitigate the current circumstances so that these banks can be strengthened and depositors are protected. A Presidential Commission has already been appointed to investigate the decision taken on a whim to sell ETI when they have put depositors in trouble. It is a responsibility of ours to make sure we do so. The building obtained for the Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Regional Development, The Office for the National Economic Council under the Presidential Secretariat at the World Trade Center, the building for the Ministry of Regional Economy in Colpetty, and the building for the Prime Minister’s Office in Slave Island have all been paid for up until the end of their agreements, and the Government has committed to honoring these agreements up until they have run-up. Our Government will not be so bankrupt as to appoint Committees or FCID’s to create a political drama. This information shows how the Government acted in violation of finance laws. The Auditor-General must direct his attention to how these finance laws have been violated by the Government that claimed to be for Good Governance. I propose to this house that a request be made of the Auditor General to compile a report on who presented these expenditure heads and have action taken on them accordingly. Thus I table this Vote On Account to increase the approved finances for Recurrent expenditure and Capital Expenditure by Rs 101 billion and a further Rs 55 billion. I further table the request to approve the bill of Rs 2,111 billion to account for foreign debt. I further request that the approved loan amount be increased from Rs. 721 billion to Rs. 1078 billion.”

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