Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera addresses a letter to the President

Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera addresses a letter to the President

Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera addresses a letter to the President

Written by Sharlan Benedict

30 Apr, 2020 | 11:13 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): The government’s ability to make financial allocations will not be interrupted under the provisions of Article 150 part 3 of the constitution, Former Minister Susil Premajayantha said.

Premjayantha said that there is no need for parliament to be reconvened adding that the president has the power to allocate funds for a period of 3 months after the new parliament has convened.

However, addressing a letter to the president Former Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera had dismissed this argument.

“Article 150 (3) of the Constitution provides for the incurring of Government expenditure in the event of the dissolution of Parliament and in the context of an Appropriation Bill not being passed in Parliament,” Samaraweera wrote in his letter.

According to the constitution the President shall be authorized to issue and spend money from the Consolidated Fund in terms of the provisions provided in the said Constitution only until the expiry of three months from the date on which the new Parliament is summoned to meet.

“However, the due date for the new Parliament to meet has not yet been officially announced by the President,” Samaraweera adds.

He opines that this is not constitutional.

The President, Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers and the Members of Parliament, as well as all public officials, including the Secretary to the Treasury, have pledged to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic, he stressed.

Any person who acts in contravention of the provisions on conviction by the Court of Appeal shall be subject to:
Civic disability for such period no exceeding seven years and forfeit his movable and immovable property

He requested the president to summon the Parliament as soon as possible with the support of all parties represented in Parliament.

“Failure to do so, especially at a time of a pandemic is bound to have serious repercussions for the short and long-term economic well-being of the people, and adds that this casts doubt over the ability to make payments to sate sector employees after the 30th of April,” Samaraweera added in his letter.

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