June 08, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s ministers should be given proper vehicles to serve the public though there may be public resistance to tax-free vehicles, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said.
The government yesterday presented a supplementary estimate of 1.2 billion rupees seeking Parliament approval to purchase 32 vehicles for 30 ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in 22 ministries.
The proposed allocation includes a car worth 70 million rupees for Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.
New vehicles will also be given to Mahinda Samarasinghe, Vajira Abyewardena, Nimal Lanza, Harin Fernando, Tharanath Basnayake, Rauf Hakeem, Sarath Amunugama, Wijith Vijayamuni Soyza and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.
The list includes P. Digambaram, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Arundika Fernando, Manusha Nanayakkara, Susantha Punchinilame and Indika Bandarnayake.
Speaking at the cabinet briefing, Senaratne said the vehicle permits were given under certain limitations.
“Who is doing all the development work in districts?” Senaratne questioned.
“In developed nations, ministers don’t have such an issue. Officials are the ones doing all the work there; not ministers because they have national policies.”
He said unlike in Singapore, Sri Lanka needs vehicle permits with higher vehicle capacities as the ministers have to travel in difficult terrains such as mountains.
Senaratne said even the ministries have not procured vehicles for over 20 years and the government has now decided to hire vehicles for the use of ministries.
Earlier it was reported that a joint opposition Parliamentarian has imported a brand new Range Rover under the tax-free vehicle scheme of the Parliament.