VIDEO: Deputy Minister post a ‘pacifier’ to soothe crying MPs - JVP

VIDEO: Deputy Minister post a ‘pacifier’ to soothe crying MPs - JVP

October 10, 2013   05:49 pm

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today accused the government of wasting large sums of taxpayer money on maintaining a “herd” of Ministers and deputies while claiming that the money spent on one of them can be used to maintain an entire state.   

JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake pointed out that the world’s most populated country China, with a population of 1.35 billion, only has 27 Ministers while India has a population of 1.2 billion with only 35 Ministers.

Russia with a population of 143 million has only 17 Ministers, the United States of America only has 24 Ministers while Japan and Australia both have 19 Ministers to govern the country, he said.  

However, Sri Lanka’s population is only 20 million but it has 66 Ministers and 29 Deputy Ministers so far with another 13 more still to be appointed, Dissanayake said. In addition to this there are 9 Chief Ministers 36 Provincial Ministers, he added.

Detailing the expense incurred by the government on Ministers, he said that each Minister receives 2 official vehicles and Rs 150,000 worth diesel for those vehicles, a mobile phone with Rs 15,000 to pay the phone bill, a house in Colombo with only Rs 1,000 being charged for rent, only Rs 1,000 charged for electricity while the entire water bill is paid by the government.

They also receive a 15-member staff, with five of them receiving their own vehicles and fuel, while a Minister is also given an allowance of Rs 6,500 for food and beverages, the Member of Parliament told reporters in Colombo.

“The money spent to maintain one Minister can be used to maintain an entire state,” he said. 

Dissanayake further alleged that marriage and birth registration fees have been increased while milk powder and even sprats have been taxed and that the money earned from these is spent on maintaining a “herd” of ministers.

He questioned whether the people of the country approve of these actions by the government.

He likened Ministerial portfolios to “pacifiers,” saying that similar to mothers using pacifiers to calm infants when they cry, the President is using Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial portfolios to silence MPs when they cry. “Those are just empty pacifiers,” he said.   

He further charged that 62% of the government’s expenditure is “in the hands of the Rajapaksa family” while the remaining 38% is divided between 108 ministers and deputy ministers.

Dissanayake stated that all these ministries are just “empty husks” as the important establishments under them have been taken under the supervision of the President.   

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