A single day s parliamentary sitting costs the taxpayers around Rs 11,490,537.74 (over eleven million) according to the latest statistics (2007) released to the media.
Parliament met for 97 days in 2007 and the total amount those sittings cost the state coffers was Rs 1,114,582,161, the Annual Performance Report of the Parliament for the year 2007, presented to the House last week Leader of the House Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, reveals.
Capital expenditure for the 2007 was Rs 17,188,821 while the total recurrent expenditure was Rs 1,097,393,340, the report says.
During those 97 days of meetings in 2007, the lawmakers presented 79 government and private members bills and 60 of them were made into law. During the year, 1020 oral questions were asked, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) met 54 times, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) 90 times and Ministerial Consultative Committees met 139 times. Other committees that met during that period and the number of sessions they had are as follows: Committee on Selection -06, Committee on Public Petitions 62, Committee on High Posts -10, Committee on Standing Orders 02, Select Committees 64, and Parliamentary Business Committee - 35.
Two order books and 23 addenda connected to them were issued during the year. Some 189 Annual Reports, 09 Supplementary Estimates, 68 Regulations and Motions etc sent by all ministries were presented to the Members and their records maintained.
The expenses included those on mid day meals and beverages for members of parliament, the staff and officers from ministries who came to Parliament for various meetings, daily transport facilities for staff of the Parliament and other personnel attached to Parliament and participation of the staff of the Speaker and the Parliament staff in seminars and their scholarships in foreign countries during the year. The MPs including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chairman of Committees, Secretary General of Parliament, Deputy Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General attended conferences and seminars of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Inter Parliamentary Union by Parliamentary Foreign Relations Bureau.
The cost also covered Hansard reports issued for 97 days and simultaneous interpretation of the speeches made by MPs at the Parliamentary meetings into Sinhala, Tamil and English.
Under the Office of Parliamentary Secretary General there are eight departments and 13 offices including divisions and sections with a cadre strength of 584 employees, 47 of them casual and temporary workers in 2007. The personal Emoluments amounted to Rs. 504,829,227 (over 504 million rupees).