Written by Staff Writer
15 Dec, 2021 | 6:27 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); With the decision of the President to prorogue Parliament, all Parliamentary Select Committees will now cease to exist.
The Committees were tasked with extensively looking into various affairs in Parliament and produce reports on the progress of those matters.
Amidst the Committees that are now unable to operate because of the prorogation, the Committee on Public Accounts takes center stage.
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna MP – Anura Priyadarshana Yapa chaired the Committee on Public Accounts.
Ruling party and Opposition MPs, Bandula Gunawardena, Keheliya Rambukwella, Sarath Weerasekara, Susil Premajayantha, Vidura Wickramanayake, D.V. Chanaka, Nala Godahewa, Vijitha Herath, Dilan Perera, Kumara Welgama, Harsha De Silva, Manusha Nanayakkara, M.A. Sumanthiran, Kavinda Jayawardena, Mujibur Rahman, Isuru Dodangoda, Anupa Pasquel, Nalin Fernando, Sahan Pradeep and Professor Ranjith Bandara were the members of the Committee on Public Accounts.
The Committee on Public Accounts brought many significant topics related to state funds to the limelight in the recent past.
One of the allegations the Committee on Public Accounts leveled was the reduction of the tax imposed on sugar to 25 cents and that a company with a massive stock of sugar at the time reaped an enormous profit.
MPs of both ruling and Opposition factions pointed out before the Finance Committee that the general public did not gain any benefit from the reduction of this tax.
After the Finance Committee informed the Ministry of Finance on numerous occasions, the Ministry of Finance released a report revealing that the Government has lost Rs. 15 Billion from this change of tax.
IF, the Government had the opportunity to retrieve this money, what are the steps that should have been taken?
The Government allocated Rs. 8 Billion for those who lost their income due to COVID-19 from Budget 2022.
Rs. 500 Million was allocated to abolish pension payment anomalies.
Rs. 1 Billion was allocated for the nutrition package for expectant mothers.
IF, the Sugar Scam did not take place in the country, couldn’t the Government allocate the lost Rs. 15 Billion for all these sectors through the Budget.
The Committee on Public Accounts was the body that revealed the Sugar Scam and NOW, the Committee is no more.
When Parliament convenes next January, the Committee will have to appoint a NEW Chairman and NEW Members.
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