The move to lease out vehicles to 58 government MPs at a total cost of Rs.2.4 billion gives room to suspect of their being a serious financial crime involved, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament today.
"The fact that tenders had been called from potential suppliers even before cabinet approval is a matter for suspicion," he said.
"The monthly rental for one vehicle will amount to Rs.700,000 and at the end of the lease period of 60 months the total amount paid for each of the vehicles will add up to Rs.42 million. This means that the 58 vehicles will end up costing Rs.2.4 billion," Mr. Dissanayake said adding that the government would not receive ownership of the vehicles after the lease was paid up.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dissanayake highlighted the fact that the 58 MPs were being currently paid a monthly transport allowance of Rs.200,000.
Mr. Dissanayake questioned whether the government is actually going ahead with the proposal, as to whether these MPs have asked for vehicles and as to whether the costs involved is correct.
Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella who responded said Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake will make a statement on it in the House today. (Yohan Perera)