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Sri Lanka PM seeks pay rise for MPs

By Our Political Correspondent

Nov 19, 2016 17:07 PM GMT+0530 | 5 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Saturday made an impassioned plea for substantially higher salaries for legislators in a bid to reduce corruption and attract better talent to parliament.

Wickremesinghe said the current salary of an MP was grossly inadequate for the amount of work they are required to carry out in their constituencies and he was proposing substantially higher wages.

"I know it is unpopular to say it, and I will be criticised for saying this," Wickremesinghe said in parliament at the start of the committee state debate on the 2017 budget.

He said the salary currently paid to elected representatives did not attract the right people to parliament.

"I will manage with the salary I get, but my wife's salary is more than what I get."

Wickremesinghe's wife is a university professor. Academics had their salaries raised after prolonged agitation and trade union action.

The premier did not say by how much he wanted the salaries of law makers raised.

He said many MPs had “sponsors” to pay for offices maintained in their constituencies and the practice should be stopped as it led to lawmakers have to dispense favours in return.

He also called for free air tickets for MPs from the northern and eastern regions to attend parliament rather than spending long hours travelling by road.

Each MP is currently entitled to a monthly allowance of 54,285 rupees. In addition they also get 1,000 rupee for entertainment, 3,500 rupees for a driver, 2,000 rupees for a mobile phone and another 10,000 as transport reimbursement of his or her staff members.

An MP is also paid 500 rupees for attending each sitting of parliament and is provided with 283 to 639 litres of diesel a month depending on the distance to his or her constituency.

MPs are also entitled to a state pension after serving for just five years.

They were also given a tax free permit to import a luxury vehicle and most have sold this entitlement at about 22 million rupees (each).

A recent proposal to give luxury vehicles for some 58 MP’s said to be involved in “development “ work has drawn severe criticism from the opposition. The government is proposing the hiring of luxury Sports Utility Vehicles at a monthly rental of 700,000 rupees for each vehicle to be given for the use of MPs. Pending the obtaining of these vehicles, the MPs are paid a monthly additional allowance of 200,000 rupees. This second vehicle is in addition to a permit which many have hawked for 22 million rupees a piece.

Food at parliament is also subsidised and MPs are also entitled to free body massages in addition to a comprehensive health care insurance. (COLOMBO, Nov 19, 2016)

 


 

5 Comments

  1. sacre blieu November 21, 11:05 AM

    Christmas season is upon us. And so, it is also BRIBE TIME when various sizes and value of hampers will be on lists of several business and individuals for showing gratitude for favours done. Some running into millions in value, some with overseas trips along with very special hostesses, some with bank accounts well looked after overseas, etc., etc. When these hampers were started it was of daily needs, foodstuffs and other useful stuff of modest value, mostly earning goodwill. Never more, after the thirst for status symbols became sought after , and that in the recent history of the country. Status at any price and profit in any which way one can.

  2. sacre blieu November 21, 09:06 AM

    Ranil knows that he is exposed by the bond scam and now he has begun to use public funds to bribe the parliamentarians to silence , as they also know the truth and will hold him to ransom, and the public, to extract as much as they can, up to the point of near collapse.

  3. Jayasingha November 20, 08:05 AM

    Ranil is trying every trick in the trade to save himself and Mahendran. Damn shame on you Mr: not so clean. Sirisena is impotent on this issue as he is eternally under obligation to RW.

  4. Moda Meeharaka November 20, 06:25 AM

    People are yelling from he roof top pointing out their economic difficulties and the perks the politicians are enjoying.Politicialns tear each other on other issues but get together when they wants to benefit financially and otherwise.

    They are corrupt to the core.People are not forcing these idiots to do politics, they come in the guise of coming to serve the people. Like Wickamasinghe in the case of Central Bank issue they bring the corrupt like foreigner Mahendran to serve the country and continue to be insensitive to public demands and keep him in a high post. President act like a baba (baby) and plead ignorance to most of the things.

    People have to stage public protests and chase these parasites home. Civil society should become more active and rid the people of these anti social elements democratically. As the saying goes Unuth ekkai, Mnuth ekkai and okkoma ekai. (they the same,these are the same and all are the same)

  5. clark November 20, 01:33 AM

    Illa Asweyan

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