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Additional US$558,671 allocated for luxury tax on President’s vehicles

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Government tables supplementary estimate for US$118 million, including US$558,671 for luxury tax on President’s vehicles.

The government, yesterday, submitted a supplementary estimate, seeking parliamentary approval for USD 118 million including USD 558,671 for the payment of the luxury tax on two security vehicles imported for President Maithripala Sirisena.

Approval was also sought for USD 448,873 for setting up community based Green Clubs at Divisional Secretariat level. It is an initiative by the Ministry of Finance.

The key allocations for which House approval was sought included USD 8.8 million for the provision of foreign and domestic components related to the Urban Regeneration Programme, financed by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, under a loan agreement signed on 25th April 2019.

Based on Cabinet Decisions, USD 8.8 million will be allocated for settling outstanding bills pertaining to projects for rehabilitation of the areas affected by floods and landslides in the Matara District; they commenced before 31st December 2017. USD 829,710 will also be provided for the repayment of Deposit Holders of the Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd. as per a Cabinet decision reached on 17th June 2015.

Ministry of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education will be allocated USD 5.5 million for township development in lagging regions. USD 6.9 million is allocated for the implementation of the Budget Proposal on interim allowance of USD 13.83 for Public Sector Employees.

The supplementary estimate also seeks USD 34,837 for the purchase 20 walkie-talkies and related equipment for the President.

The estimate was presented by Chief Government Whip Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka.

JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake asked the government to explain why two more security vehicles had been acquired for the President after a presidential election had been announced. He said that Green Club project was a political project and the allocated funds would be spent on government’s political campaigns.

Chief Government Whip Minister Karunathilaka said that either the Minister of Finance or the State Minister of Finance would explain the estimate to the House.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that there would be a debate on the estimate on Oct 23 and 24 and the matters could be sorted out then.

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