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DateLine Wednesday, 20 June 2007

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Government Gazette

Clear majority for Govt

* 107 votes for Supplementary Estimates

* Combined Opposition musters only 87 votes

* Limits approved for 2007 not exceeded

KOTTE: The Government reaffirmed its majority in Parliament yesterday when the vote for Supplementary Estimates for Rs.650 million was passed with a majority of 20.

At the division by name in Parliament 107 Members voted for the estimates while 87 Members opposed. The PA, SLMC and CWC voted in favour while the UNP, JVP, TNA and Western People’s Front voted against.

Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera asked for a division by name on the Supplementary Estimates.

Before the vote was taken up, Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara told the House that the Supplementary Estimates have not exceeded the limits of the expenditure approved by the Appropriation Bill. Therefore there is no need to amend the Appropriation Bill.

The Speaker said the Attorney General, the Finance Ministry Secretary and other relevant officials have been consulted in this regard.

Steps were also taken to look into the Financial Regulations and the Constitution.

The Supplementary Estimates for Rs. 657,561,000 were presented by Government to meet the costs of six ministries.

The estimates were for expenditure of the ministries of Plantation Crops Development, National Heritage, Export Development and International Trade, Public Estate Management and Development, Construction and Engineering Services and Water Supply & Drainage.

These ministries were set up when the number of ministries was increased in the last Cabinet reshuffle.

State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya reiterated in Parliament that the Estimates do not exceed the limit already approved by Parliament for 2007.

Minister Siyambalapitiya explained that the presentation of estimates fulfilled a legal obligation.

There would no recruitment of workers for the new Ministries as they are sourced from existing Ministries.

There would be no change in the recurrent expenditure of Rs.588.8 billion and the capital expenditure of Rs.735.4 billion. Government borrowing too will remain at Rs.655 billion.

Thus the Estimates will not affect the revenue, expenditure or borrowing status of the Government. The expenditure will sourced from the accounts of the existing ministries whose subjects have been handed over to the new ministries.

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