JVP condemns colossal budget allocated for President

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today condemned the colossal President’s maintenance budget approved in parliament this week, calling it a national wastage.

JVP, Parliamentarian, Vijitha Herath speaking at a press conference today, said the parliament had allocated Rs. 2.4 Bn as maintenance expenses for the President in the first 4 months of the 2020.

Accordingly, the President will be allocated Rs. 20 Mn daily from the treasury.

“A common man will not get a chance to spend such a huge amount of money during his lifetime,” he said.

In addition, he said, close to Rs. 8 Bn has been allocated as retirement benefits for the outgoing President Maithripala Sirisena through a cabinet decision earlier this month.

He said a country infested with poverty could not afford to allocate such a huge amount as President’s expenses.

Herath said Sirisena had vowed to spend his retirement in Polonnaruwa, but has now changed course.

He said the UNP including presidential candidate Sajith Premadsa had endorsed the proposal in parliament. “The joint opposition too had approved this. Therefore both the parties are responsible for such a wastage,” Herath said.

The Vote on Account for the first four months of 2020 was presented to the Parliament on Wednesday(23) by Finance  Minister Mangala Samaraweera and passed with amendments.  Approval was received for Rs 1474 bn to be utilized as state expenditure.