Through seven supplementary estimates in May and June, President Maithripala Sirisena’s office has sought Rs.380 million as expenditure for several projects. This is in addition to the annual allocation of monies for spending of the President.
An allocation of 10.1 million rupees to complete renovations of the senior minister’s office. Rs.70.6 million to buy a BMW motor car and 12 BMW R1200 motor cycles for the Presidential Security Division.
In addition, to rehabilitate and improve the residence of the President by joining two old houses in Colombo an expenditure of Rs.180 million was sought, through 02 supplementary estimates.
Also, Rs.2.7 million has been allocated to pay salaries of workers involved in the coordination and supervision of a science project and Rs.20.7 million for the setting up of a bureau to propagate national unity.
Another Rs.96 million supplementary estimate was submitted for two BMW motor vehicles, two vehicles for transporting President’s security vehicles and to cover additional expenses of President’s overseas visits.
Recently responding to media reports the Presidential Secretariat only clarified the expenditures sought to renovate the President’s residence (RS.180 million) and to buy BMW motor vehicles (Rs.70 million). The Secretariat failed to mention other expenses sought which have been mentioned above.
Responding to media reports regarding a government request for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of the President Maithripala Sirisena, Presidential secretariat recently clarified that the supplementary estimate includes expenditure for several projects.
Issuing a communiqué Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon clarified that the supplementary estimate presented to the Parliament by the Minister of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs, included the expenditure of several ministries and institutions, including the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Plantation Industries, Home Affairs & Fisheries, Highways and Investment Promotion as well as the expenditure of the Presidential Secretariat.
The Secretary to the President pointed out that the Government had to rehabilitate and improve the residence of the President by joining two old houses to bring it to a proper condition which is suitable for the use of the President.
In addition to that the Government had to provide security to the official residence of the President and to provide accommodation facilities for the security personnel of the President and also steps were taken to renovate garages at the premises. The Secretary to the President further stated that all the renovation works were completed by the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau.
According to the President’s Secretary, if the President uses the President’s House in Colombo Fort the Government would have to spend more than 15 million rupees per month for the utility costs of water and electricity in addition to the maintenance costs. President Sirisena declined to stay in the President’s House due to its high maintenance costs, the Secretary to the President further said.
Apart from Rs. 180 million, another allocation mentioned in those media reports for purchasing of a BMW car and BMW motorcycles for the Presidential Security Division were ordered in last October, 2014 under the previous government.
Accordingly, the BMW car was brought to the Port of Colombo on January 08 and the motorcycles were brought to the port on February 21. The Secretary to the President stated that these vehicles has been taken over to the Government, as these vehicles could not be re-exported and the demurrage charges were increased on a daily basis.