- Total includes 42 Cabinet Ministers, 23 State Ministers and 22
- Deputy Ministers Development Assignments only new Ministry created
- Given Rs. 47m as recurrent expenditure and Rs. 76m as capital expenditure
By Ashwin Hemmathagama
The Unity Government has appointed a total of 88 portfolio holding lawmakers including 42 Cabinet Ministers, 23 State Ministers, and 22 Deputy Ministers, with one MP assigned an observation portfolio, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Niroshan Perera told Parliament yesterday.
According to Minister Perera the amount of expenditure incurred for a Cabinet Minister differs in keeping with the nature of the Ministry and the subjects assigned thereto, and according to the Circular issued by the Secretary to the President based on the estimate for the 2017/2018 financial year, the amount stands at Rs. 26.25 million.
“Ministry of Development Assignments is the only Ministry established as a fresh institution at the Cabinet reshuffle which took place in 2017, and the provision required for it was allocated through supplementary provision in the 2017 budget,” he explained.
“Rs. 47.4 million as recurrent expenditure and Rs. 76.3 million as capital expenditure being the provision required in 2017 for the Ministry of Development Assignments were provided during 29 June 2017 to 1 November 2017 to the Department of Project Management and Monitoring,” he added.
Rejecting the additional costs incurred as allowances paid to MPs who are holding monitoring portfolios, the Minster said: “Officially we have only Malith Jayathilaka assigned a monitoring task since 27 November 2015. The MPs are assigned to certain ministries for the purpose of coordinating development programs. They don’t receive any special allowance for this assignment. There are no issues with the ministries and their assignments. Ministries assigned with development tasks are assigned with the Gamperaliya Program with the anticipation of fast development. During the previous Government, MPs such as Duminda Silva were assigned to monitor important ministries such as Defence. Such appointments under the Rajapakse regime led to issues.”