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MPs meals in Parliament: Fish meal Rs. 951 and vegetarian Rs. 629

The meals served to parliamentarians in the House became a hot topic yesterday (26) following a speech delivered by a parliamentary official on the final day of the two-day orientation workshop organised by Parliament for the first-time legislators.

The Financial Director of Parliament during his speech on the financial benefits enjoyed by the members of parliament yesterday has said that a meal served to a parliamentarian is valued at Rs. 3,000 while it is served to the MP at a subsidized rate of Rs. 200.

However, following the objections raised by several governing party MPs, the Deputy Secretary General of Parliament has said that the audit unit of the House has clarified that a fish meal served to an MP is valued at Rs. 951 while a vegetarian meal is valued at Rs. 629.

Following are excerpts of the dialogue that had taken place between the MPs and parliament officials over the controversial statement on the value of a meal served to legislators in the House.

State Minister Seetha Arambepola has first raised objections saying, “Is this meal valued at Rs. 3,000? We had this meal during these two days.”

Other MPs have also joined in saying it was embarrassing for MPs to consume a meal valued at Rs. 3,000 at Rs. 200.

“We don’t see that this meal is worth Rs. 3,000. We can bring our meals from home and consume; we don’t need food from parliament if this is the case,” Attorney At Law, MP Premanath Dolawatte has said.

The Deputy Secretary General responded saying, “Let’s decide in the future. I just received a message from the audit unit that a fish meal served to an MP is valued at Rs. 951 while a vegetarian meal is valued at Rs. 629.”