-The budget allocated for the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers still remain in billions with no major cost cuts in sight
-The budgets allocated under 'Special Spending Units' for the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Office as well as the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers in 2023 are more or just the same when compared to what was allocated in 2022
Sri Lanka is still in the midst of its worst-ever economic crisis and just a few months ago defaulted on its debt payments for the first time in history.
However, despite the soaring debts and high cost of living which has resulted in citizens having to compromise on the quality of life as well as now having to pay soaring taxes to give some relief to the much dry Treasury, the budget allocated for the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers still remain in billions with no major cost cuts in sight.
According to official figures released by the Treasury, the budgets allocated under 'Special Spending Units' for the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Office as well as the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers in 2023 are more or just the same when compared to what was allocated in 2022, leading to a question as to why there have been no major reductions amidst the spiraling economic crisis.
Under the budget allocated for the 'Special Spending Unit' for the President, a staggering sum of Rs.3.88 billion has been allocated in 2023 as compared to the Rs.3.04 billion compared for 2022. According to Treasury figures, Rs.70 million has been allocated for the President for 'Overtime and Holiday Payments' which is the same allocation as last year, and Rs.86 million has been allocated as travel expenses which include domestic and foreign visits for 2023 as compared to Rs.26 million allocated for 2022.
Under the maintenance expenditure for the President such as vehicles, plant and machinery and buildings and structures, the Treasury has allocated Rs.450 million in 2023, the same sum allocated for 2022.
For the Prime Minister, under this same Special Spending Units category, the budget allocated for 2023 is a staggering Rs.1.01 billion. However, this is a slight decrease compared to the Rs.1.43 billion allocated for 2022.
The Treasury has allocated Rs.40 million for the Prime Minister under the category of 'Overtime and Holiday Payments' as opposed to the Rs. 70 million allocated for 2022 and Rs.18 million has been allocated as traveling expenses which include domestic and foreign compared to Rs.19 million allocated for 2022.
A staggering Rs.172 million has been allocated as maintenance expenditure for the Prime Minister for vehicles, plant and machinery and buildings and structures as compared to the Rs.229 million allocated for 2022.
For the office of the cabinet of ministers, the Treasury has allocated a sum of Rs. 263 million for 2023 as compared to the Rs.217 million allocated for 2022.
For Parliament, the Treasury has allocated Rs.3.81 billion in 2023 as opposed to Rs.3.43 billion allocated for 2022. Rs.70 million has been allocated for the Office of the Leader of the House of Parliament, Rs.160 million has been allocated for the Office of the Chief Government Whip and Rs.235 million has been allocated for the Office of the Leader of the Opposition of Parliament for 2023.
These allocations come at a time when hospitals are still facing a shortage of medicines.
With such turmoil, why is it that the government cannot afford to implement major cuts in its expenses and offer some relief to the country? Shortage of medicines and the import market remains restricted affecting thousands of businesses. Malnutrition is also rampant among children and the country is heavily dependent of international assistance to seek some relief from debt payments. (JAMILA HUSAIN)
Mike Revere Tuesday, 31 January 2023 08:00 AM
Citizens must use their votes properly if there is an election
David Tuesday, 31 January 2023 08:55 AM
What is the change in percentage terms, and what has been the inflation over the period. Based on that we will know the growth in allocation in real terms. Comparison of nominal figures could be misleading, and may I say possibly mischievous.
Jude Tuesday, 31 January 2023 09:31 AM
Parents can't feed their children, and I can't understand why these parents keeping quite!??? Just do something!!
johan Tuesday, 31 January 2023 09:58 AM
People's representatives are consuming most of the people's tax money.May be these are expenses without thousands of security personnel allocated to them.What about expenses on former presidents and their securities and their offices. Why should employees pay tax from their salaries to these expenses.A new government must be formed and curtail all these expenses.Thanks for Daily Mirror revealing this information.
Wiseman Tuesday, 31 January 2023 10:28 AM
SL politicians has long forgotten that they are government servants who are supposed to serve population and not use up tax payers money for luxuries.
Jagath Leanage Tuesday, 31 January 2023 10:35 AM
All leaders who ruled this country for the last 74 years wasted money in numerous ways. Not benefitted to general public.
Ceylonese Wednesday, 01 February 2023 06:08 AM
In Sri Lanka to get elected as a politician is like winning a lotto and you are set for life and the sky is the limit. In addition if you are a member of the rulng party you can also earn a 10% commission on major projects via the back door. You also don't need any qualificaions to be an MP. As a result there are many thieves thugs and drug traffickers who have found their way into the Sri Lanka Parliament and that's one of the reasons why the country is bankrupt and there is no law and order.
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