Real costs lower than estimates: Harin
The actual cost of the two vehicles of Prime Minister and the cost of repairs of residence and offices of some Ministers were less than what was stated in the supplementary estimates, Minister Harin Fernando said today. The issue of the estimated was debated extensively during the past few days.
Minister Fernando told a media briefing today that only Rs. 128 million has been spent for the two bullet proof vehicles as pre-tax value, and another Rs. 448 million was for taxes levied on such vehicle imports. “The Government itself is liable for taxes in the procurement of these vehicles,” he said. “Premier Wickremesinghe never knew about the plan to procure these vehicles because they have been ordered by the Prime Minister’s Security Division (PMSD) as per State protocol,” he added. Besides, he said the two vehicles which are currently used by the Prime Minister were more than ten years old and Rs. 500,000 was spent for maintenance of each a month. He said only Rs. 30 million had been spent for the office of Minister of Public Enterprises Kabir Hashim though the supplementary estimate said Rs.
60 million was to be spent for it. Referring to his own Ministry, Fernando said only Rs 2.7 million was spent for the repairs of his official residence though the supplementary estimates said a sum of Rs 4.2 million was to be spent. “My official residence needed a repair as it was in a dilapidated state, when it was handed over by the Minister who used it earlier,” he said. The Minister, who responded to statement, which the leader of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Anura Kumara Dissanayake said on the purchase of vehicles and cost of repairs, said MP Dissanayake accepted the vehicle permits, which were given to MPs in 2010.
“Mr. Dissanayake shouts about the vehicle permits after accepting the benefit,” he said. Hitting out at the JVP further he said the party’s insurrection in 1988 cost Rs. 280 million to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) alone, while it caused damages to the tune of Rs. 900 million to the Government buildings.