While the country is in the throes of its worst economic crisis with citizens waiting in long queues for hours for essential commodities, the Government has spent nearly Rs 95 million on the 74th National Independence Day celebrations, a Right to Information (RTI) request revealed.
This is the highest amount spent in the last five years on an Independence Day celebration.
Accordingly, Rs 94.7 million had been spent on the grand celebration held at Independence Square, Colombo 07. This is nearly Rs 15 million more than the amount spent in 2021 for the independence celebration.
The event was organised by State Ministry of Home Affairs.
This amount includes Rs 37 million for setting up the stage, distributing flag poles and issuing red carpet to the Department of Government Factory and Rs 19 million to the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs to conduct the Cultural Exhibition Walk. In addition, Rs 15 million was spent on mobile toilet facilities, Rs 2 million on hospitality expenses and Rs 1 million was spent for a digital screen.
Moreover, Rs 11 million had been used for electricity, Rs 2 million for water facility and Rs 2 million for sound systems and chairs.
The RTI application was submitted to the State Ministry on 7 February and the reply was given by P.S.P. Abeywardhana, Additional Secretary to Administration, who is the Information Officer of the State Ministry, on 20 April.
By Rifthi Ali