Responding to reports about the financial allocation for the renovation of a house belonging to the Public Enterprises Development ministry, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told in Parliament yesterday that it was used by his predecessor Minister Kabir Hashim only.
Denying reports that he was occupying the house, Mr. Kiriella said had not used it at all. Meanwhile, State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne said yesterday that Public Enterprises Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella was not living in his official residence and that the funds had been allocated from the supplementary estimate for an official residence belonging to the Public Enterprises Development ministry.
"This residence was renovated in 2016 and 17. The additional funds of Rs.19.9 million has been allocated from the supplementary estimate presented this week. The name of the ministry has been changed. Minister Kiriella is not living in an official residence. He has not occupied an official residence even as leader of the House," he said.
JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake requested Mr. Wickramaratne to reveal the total funds allocated for the residence.
The State minister in his response said he would obtain the details from the finance ministry and present it in parliament.
Commenting on the bullet-proof vehicle for Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said it was not even proper to inquire about it and added that the government was ready to protect Mr. Rajapaksa not only as the opposition leader but even as Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also confirmed that Minister Kiriella had not been living in an official residence. (Ajith Siriwardana)