Treasury Secretary, K.M. Mahinda Siriwardena instructed the Health Secretary to abide by the circular issued on the importance of controlling State expenditure at this juncture.
He noted that in accordance with the particular circular, it was unadvisable for the Health Secretary to propose or pay allowances to grade medical officers and dental surgeons, even if the Ministry had the budgetary allocations, sans the approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.
In a letter to the Health Secretary, Siriwardena drew attention to the Budgetary circular No03/2022 issued on 26 April 2022 and said that according to its instructions on the method of controlling State expenditure, decisions could be made regarding the payment of allowances in any ministry or institutions under it without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.
He pointed out that the Presidential Secretary too had issued a letter stressing on the need to control government expenditure. Accordingly, government officials who worked outside the instructions issued by that circular would be held responsible for their action.
The Treasury Secretary noted that steps had been taken to extend the daily Extra duty Allowances of grade Medical Officers and dental surgeons from four to six hours by a circular signed by the Health Secretary. But according to a letter by the Director General Health Services, (EST/7/ALLOW/03/0029/4 and 19 February 2018) daily Extra Duty Allowances had been restricted to a maximum four hours (120 hours per month). The Treasury Secretary observed that amendments to the hours of Extra Duty Allowances should be introduced with the concurrence of the DGHS.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne