SL Parliament bars ministers from using state funds

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Sri Lanka Parliament on Friday approved a motion barring all Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and their personal staff from using state funds.

The motion was passed with 122 votes in favour and no votes against as government MPs decided to boycott the Parliament for a fourth straight session.

The motion was moved for Parliament to declare that Secretaries to any and all Ministries have no any authority to approve any payment of monies drawn from the funds of the Republic for Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and their personal staff.

The motion further states that:

“Whereas this House on 16th November, 2018, accepted the official statement made by the Hon. Speaker on 15th November, 2018 that, in terms of paragraph 2 of the No Confidence Motion against the Government adopted on 14th November 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers stood dissolved in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, and accordingly this House further resolved that, since 26th October, 2018, as contemplated in Article 48 of the Constitution, this House had no confidence in the Government including Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa;

“And whereas Parliament has full control over Public Finance as mandated in Article 148 of the Constitution; that this Parliament resolves that from 15th November, 2018, Secretaries to any and all Ministries have no authority to approve any payment of monies drawn from the funds of the Republic to pay for the salaries and other emoluments of Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and their personal staff and are also prohibited from defraying expenses incurred in foreign travel, internal air travel including use of helicopters on behalf of the above Ministers and any person taking any action in violation of this resolution will be dealt with according to law.”

Parliament on Thursday had also passed a motion to cut the personal budget of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

It was passed by 123 to none in the 225-member parliament due to the absence of government MPs who were boycotting the parliament session.

The motion was aimed at preventing Rajapaksa from using government money for his day-to-day expenses as prime minister.

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