Halt importing duty-free vehicles for 79 new MPs
President of the Hela Bodu Saviya, Ven. Budugala Jinawansa Thera has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requesting him to reconsider ordering duty-free vehicles for the 79 new Members of Parliament.
He said, he came to know that the Ministry of Public Administration was arranging to import duty-free vehicles for new Parliamentarians. He stated it has been stated that a duty-free permit was worth Rs 30 million.
The prelate’s letter states: “Certain Cabinet Ministers have already declared that short-term relief cannot be provided to the people regarding the prices of goods. The prices of daily essentials have increased considerably. The price of a kilo of sugar is now Rs 145 and a coconut cannot be bought for less than Rs 100, which ends up with people buying only half a coconut. The price of food items such as rice and dhal have also increased. I would like to request you to consider how ethical it is to issue vehicle permits at concessionary rates to MPs, at a time like this.
“The decentralised budgets have not been allocated for this year, to MPs. If you had done so, it would have been possible to provide some help to the people and a programme to raise their living standards could have been carried out. Rather than considering the well-being of MPs, it would be far better to provide relief to the people. At present, about 300,000 persons have been deprived of their jobs due to COVID-19. Certain factories pay employees only half their wages. I earnestly request you, on behalf of the people, not to provide new MPs the duty-free vehicle permits which have been planned.”