- Includes Rs.1.4 b for drought relief, Rs.1.5 b for fertiliser subsidy for tea, rubber and coconut sectors
- Vehicle expenses of Rs.43 m for State Minister Fowzie, Rs.21 m for Amarapura Mahanayake
- Rs.342 m for infrastructure facilities by CMC to Shangri-la Hotel
A Supplementary Allocation seeking House approval for Rs.7 billion was tabled yesterday less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe won the no-confidence motion.
Some of the items in the Supplementary Allocation, including a sum of Rs.100 million, have been provided as an additional allocation to settle the outstanding bills of flood and drought relief in 2017, Rs. 1,450 million to provide further relief to the drought-affected as per the Cabinet Decision dated 30 January 2018, Rs.1,500 million for the implementation of the fertiliser subsidy program for smallholders of the tea, rubber and coconut sector.
It also included Rs.21.39 million to procure vehicles for the use of Sri Lanka Amarapura Sanga Sabha Mahanayake Most Venerable Kotugoda Dhammawasathero, Rs.43 million to meet the expenditure of the acquisition of a vehicle for the State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, Rs.10 million to procure vehicles for the use of the security division of the Prime Minister and Rs.342 million to settle the outstanding contractual payments to the Colombo Municipal for providing infrastructure facilities to Shangri-La Hotel project as per a Cabinet Decision dated 30 January 2018.
Challenging certain expenditure heads in the Supplementary Allocation, including the payment on behalf of Shangri-La and the vehicle leased to the Minister of Special Assignments, opposition lawmaker Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP) MP Bimal Rathnayaka said: “Rs.4.1 million is allocated to the Ministry of Special Assignments to meet the expenditure of the lease rental for vehicle procured under the operational leasing method. We do want to know what this Minister of Special Assignments did for the country and the reason he would need a vehicle. We also need a background report for the additional allocation of Rs.342 million provided to settle the outstanding contractual payments to the Colombo Municipal Council for providing infrastructure facilities to the Shangri-La Hotel project as per the Cabinet Decision dated 30 January 2018.”
In response, Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development and Leader of the House of Parliament Lakshman Kiriella stated that if required a debate could be staged over the matters concerning the Opposition.
Supplementary allocations are being provided in terms of Clause 6 (1) of the Appropriation Act as required. These are provided strictly for the purposes specified in approved Budget estimates to relevant spending agencies having carried out a needs assessment, giving consideration to relevant financial regulations and approved procedures.
However, the supplementary provision presented yesterday did not change the approved total expenditure limits of the annual estimate by Parliament. The allocation of such purposes has been made under the Project of Budgetary Support Services and Contingent Liabilities of the Department of National Budget and it is under the limit of the Approved Annual Budget. Therefore, either the borrowing limit or the maximum limit of total expenditure will not be increased due to the granting of these supplementary provisions. (AH)
Spot fines for 33 traffic offences to be introduced
- Fines to range between Rs.500 – Rs.3000
In order to discipline drivers and to reduce the growing number of vehicle-related accidents, the Government has introduced spot fines for 33 specific traffic offences.
Moving the three regulations under the Motor Traffic Act, which received House approval, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ashok Abeysinghe, stressed the importance of revising laws to save lives and prevent the loss of property.
“For 33 specified traffic offences, spot fines will be implemented as a law. Based on the recommendations of the committee appointed by the President, the 33 offences subjected to spot fines will be introduced.
What is intended by this exercise is to create disciplined drivers and safeguard the lives of the people. Accordingly, spot fines will be imposed from Rs.500 to a maximum of Rs.3,000,” he explained, assuring that measures will be taken to introduce an internationally accepted driving license in Sri Lanka.
Under the Motor Traffic Act orders, measures will be taken to introduce the quadricycle, which would also be included in the motor traffic law. However, quadricycles will be banned from entering the expressways. (AH)