At least ten per cent of the state vehicles, used by Parliamentarians, both present and past, under various regimes, have gone missing. `There is no trace of these vehicles` Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse told The Island yesterday.
While some Parliamentarians had promptly returned their vehicles, others have given them to their kith and kin and had obtained new vehicles from the Government. The Defence Secretary said that the CID would be called upon to probe these missing vehicles and action taken against the miscreants, irrespective of their party affiliations.
This was a huge loss to the Government, he pointed out.
Certain instances have been brought to the notice of the Government that some parliamentarians have given their vehicles for the use of friends after obtaining new vehicles. The probe would also focus on how the vehicles changed hands and whether any sales have taken place and if such vehicles had been sold, whether any RMV officials were involved in the transfer, to the new owners. `All aspects would be thoroughly probed and the culprits prosecuted,` Rajapakse said.
MPs and Ministers, after losing at elections or when their portfolios change, should promptly hand over all vehicles they are provided with to the Government, but this regulation has not been observed.
All Ministry secretaries would be notified of the new procedures to be followed in allocation of vehicles to Parliamentarians and what steps should be taken to get the vehicles back at the appropriate time, he said.
Meanwhile, a source in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said that all 225 MPs in the present Parliament have been given permits to import new vehicles.