President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have turned down a Cabinet paper submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking office and staff facilities for MPs assigned to oversee the implementation of the government’s ‘Gam Peraliya’ programme.
The recommendation has been made by a committee comprising officials including the Secretary to the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministry.
The Prime Minister submitted the Cabinet paper on behalf of the committee. The committee had recommended that each MP assigned to monitor the programme implementation was provided with a separate office and a staff of seven.
The government had earlier decided to assign the MPs who do not hold ministerial posts for this purpose.
The President had reportedly rejected the Cabinet paper saying it was unnecessary and also turned down a Cabinet paper put forward by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama seeking to allow ministers to retain private lawyers at government expense in fundamental rights cases filed against them.
The President said they could retain lawyers only from the Attorney General’s Department.