The committee stage debate on the Budget is continuing in Parliament in violation of Standing Order 121, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardene said today.
He said the Public Finance Committee had to submit a report on budget estimates and taxes and state whether the budget allocations were in line with government policies.
The MP said this has to be done six weeks after the Appropriation Bill is submitted to Parliament.
“There is no point in holding the budget debate by violating SOs,” the MP said.
Finance Committee member JVP MP Bimal Ratnyake said the violation of standing orders have taken place because of the non availability of resources. “Standing orders are being violated because of the lack of translators. Finance Committee meetings are held regularly. It even met today. It is is doing its job. The committee knows it has to prepare a report and informed the relevant departments of the Finance Ministry to prepare their explanations on budget proposals one month before the presentation. We told them to do it on an interim basis. However they did not do it. Also the report which Finance committee prepare is done in one language. It is not possible even to report minutes of the committee meetings of Finance Committee as the available staff are busy. The main issue is the lack of translators,” the MP said.
Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said he would brief the Speaker and pointed out that there were practical issues pertaining to fulfilling this task.
House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said the Speaker has to decide on this matter. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)