The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the move to omit budgetary estimates for more 30 institutions coming directly under President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the committee stage of the debate on the budget was illegal.
UNP frontliner Lakshman Kiriella who started the debate in parliament said `this illegal act` had been committed by the President who he said was elected to office through fraudulent means preventing nearly 300,000 people from exercising their franchise at the election.
However, Mr. Kiriella charged that the President`s allocation had been increased by Rs. 2,500 million.
`There are over 100 consultants working for the President. He was elected through illegal means. How can we expect him to work legally then?` he queried. The House debated the vote on the President`s office, Prime Minister`s office and National Building and Infrastructure Development Ministry.
Among the state bodies that have not been listed for debate are the Land Reforms Commission, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Public Enterprises Reforms Commission and the SEMA.
The UNP also said the allocations for the Constitutional Council had been cut by 50 percent, Police Commission by 25 percent and Independent Judicial Services Commission by 30 percent.
`Both former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed to strengthen these bodies to ensure democracy and even the international community recognized these bodies. But, the present government is trying to scuttle them,` he said.