Waiving Prez’s salary won’t reduce poverty: Bandula

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Responding to the New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa’s pledge to forgo the president’s salary if elected so as to help the poor, the Opposition said yesterday such ‘trivial’ solutions won’t help resolve national issues such as poverty.

MP Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told a news conference Minister Premadasa was making statements to please the gallery instead of coming up with a proper mechanism to address poverty.

“The president giving up his salary and other privileges to help the needy will not be a sustainable measure to eradicate poverty. No one believes in these fables. To eradicate poverty, productions and investments should be increased creating employment opportunities. A candidate should forward a national-level economic plan to solve the issues of the country. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already forwarded a draft of his economic plan,” he said and added that a presidential candidate should comment on national level challenges such as national security, the value of the currency and environmental issues and how to face them successfully.

Dr. Gunawardena said the UNP had already said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would continue to serve as the PM if Minister Premadasa was elected president.

“Premier Wickremesinghe served for over four years but was not successful in eradicating poverty. How can they achieve something which they couldn’t do over the past four and a half years,” he asked.