- Funds will cover retirement benefits to ex-Presidents and Hema Premadasa
- Will include pension payments, building and vehicles costs for 2021
- Two of former Presidents in current Parliament
By Chandani Kirinde
Around Rs. 60 million has been allocated from the 2021 Budget to provide facilities to the three former Presidents and the widow of a former President, according to Budgetary Estimates released by the Finance Ministry this week.
The funds for the former Presidents and Hema Premadasa, the widow of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, has been allocated under the Operational Activities of the Budget of the President.
The money will cover retirement benefits for former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. The annual retirement benefits for Kumaratunga will be around Rs. 4.1 million which comes under the recurrent expenditure category while capital expenditure which will cover the costs of buildings and vehicles for 2021 will be Rs. 3 million.
The retirement benefits for former President Rajapaksa and Sirisena will be the same with Rs. 8.1 million each for pension payments for Rs. 16 million each for buildings and vehicles.
The retirement benefits for former First Lady Premadasa will be Rs. 2 million while another Rs. 2 million has been allocated as capital expenditure for buildings and vehicles.
It is not clear if former President Rajapaksa, who is the current Prime Minister, draws a separate salary for his current post while former President Sirisena who is a MP gets a salary in addition to the presidential pension.
In 2019, Rs. 37.9 million was allocated for facilities for former presidents and the former First Lady.
President Sirisena’s term ended in November 2019, adding him to the list of former presidents.