Disputed Sri Lankan Cabinet approves funds for 1Q2019
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s new Cabinet of ministers whose legality has been challenged has approved a vote on account for recurrent expenditure of the government for the first quarter of 2019.
"The cabinet has approved a vote on account which was submitted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister," parliamentarian and spokesperson Mahinda Samarasinghe, whose appointment as Ports Minister is disputed, said.
The vote on account provides for expenditure of 1, 735 billion rupees, with 760 billion rupees for public services, 970 billion rupees for expenditure previously approved and 5 billion rupees for the government advance account.
The cabinet and government under Rajapaksa is no longer in effect, according to parliament Hansard, after two votes of no confidence.
Samarasinghe said that the 122 parliamentarians voting against them are only united for one cause; the removal of the government and cabinet.
He said they may vote differently for any other issue.
Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara who was also present at the cabinet media briefing, said that they are not worried about passing the vote on account.
"We will need a majority, but we don’t expect it to be a problem. We will look at that when the time comes," he said.
He said the vote on account will only be presented if the supreme court verdict is against the President for dissolving parliament.
If the president’s order is upheld in the courts, parliament will be dissolved and the president will have the power to manage finances until the end of the general elections, he said.
The two parliamentarians said that they are aware of the fiscal deficit and will try to reduce it while balancing incentives for the people. (COLOMBO, 28 November 2018)