Written by Zulfick Farzan
25 Mar, 2021 | 2:39 pm
Colombo (News 1st); The Sri Lankan Opposition alleged the government is moving ministries to expensive locations while claiming that it aims to cut down expenses.
Opposition Lawmaker Chaminda Wijesiri from the Samagi Jana Balavegaya alleged the government currently has 41 State Ministers while the constitution only permits 40 State Ministers.
He said it is unconstitutional to allocate funding for the 41st State Minister or Ministry and questioned who approved to release funds for such a Minister or Ministry.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the State Minister of Money and Capital Market said Government has attempted to minimize costs at every juncture.
“You would agree with me when I say, new State Ministries would also require office spaces to operate in. It was done following scrupulous review,” he said.
“As of 15th January 2021, the Office of the Minister of Tourism, Office of the State Minister of Batik, Handloom Fabrics and Local Apparel products, the State Ministry of Rural and School Sports Infrastructure Promotion, the State Ministry of Cane, Brass, Clay Furniture and Rural Industry Promotion and the State Ministry of Development of Aviation and Export Zones, operates from the World Trade Center in Colombo,” said State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal.
The State Minister affirmed there are only 40 State Ministers and requested the MP to name the 41st State Minister.
However, Minister Johnston Fernando who is the Chief Government Whip told Parliament that the allocation for 40 ministries has been made based on the individual.
“When we take Minister Chamal, he also has a state ministry under him. Therefore, there are only 40 State Ministries and not 41,” he said.
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