23 September, 2018

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Transport Allowance Of Rs.200,000 To 55 MPs – A Comment

By P. Soma Palan

P. Soma Palan

I refer to the Front Page headlined news Report in the Daily Mirror of 13th August that the Government is to pay a Transport Allowance of Rs. 200,000 per month to 55 Members of Parliament, both from the Government and the Opposition, to facilitate monitoring Implementation of Government Projects and activities. This amounts to an aggregate amount of Rs. 11 million per month. Relative to the National Revenue of the country, this payment may be a pittance. But relative to the earned salaries of a middle class person, it is a huge amount paid out of Public Funds. Therefore, as concerned citizens, the informed Public would want to know that this money will actually be put into productive use. The Government’s public declaration, that the country is facing a financial burden, resulting from a colossal Debt, and loan repayments and interest, will not be eased by the spendthrift payment of such a big Transport Allowance per person.

Transport Allowance of Rs.200,000/-

There is ambiguity and lack of clarity as to whether this payment is a fixed, absolute, recurrent monthly payment or a variable Allowance on a pro-rata basis as per actual Transport trips done to the District and Divisional Project areas, in a full month of 25 working days. As a rule, Transport Allowances are paid relative to actual Travel done, unless a full month travel is mandated. If it is paid irrespective of Transport is involved or not, then, it is a fixed salary payment under the guise of a euphemism called Transport Allowance. If it is the former, a deceptive salary increase to select group of MPs is partial and unfair by the rest of the MPs

Who will Monitor the Monitors of the Projects?

 Members of Parliament are well known for not attending Parliamentary sessions in the first place. Often times, Parliamentary deliberations are crippled for want of a quorum. Therefore, what guarantee is there that these MPs would attend Coordinating Committees at District and Divisional levels, unless there is a structured Reporting system is in place, to ensure that the Monitoring MPs will actually do the job they are assigned with. 

Projects Implementation Coordinating Committees at District and Divisional levels

It is said that these MPs will be assigned positions in the Project Implementation Coordinating Committees at District and Divisional levels. I believe that the aforesaid Committees consists of Technical Professionals on Project Management who are more qualified and equipped to report to the relevant Line Minister on the status of Projects than half-baked politicians, who are just members of Parliament. Further, isn’t it the responsibility and duty of the Ministry top Officials to follow through and monitor the Projects undertaken by the Ministry and ensure their implementation ,and report to the Minister concerned about their status, constraints faced, progress and what is done and remains to be done ,and projected period of completion ? Sri Lankan top Officials are habitual seat warmers in their closeted air conditioned rooms, and hardly venture out on field inspections and monitoring.

Maximizing of people and Minimizing Productivity

It is the inbuilt nature of the Government Service to increase the number of people, for a job of work than increasing the productivity of the existing cadre. No wonder the Government Service has a bloated workforce, with one third being passengers with little or no productivity. To pay Rs.200,000/-per head for 55 MPs, is a case in point. Implementation of Projects is the function of the Executive, the Minister concerned and his Ministry Officials. It is not the responsibility of the elected Members of Parliament to do the executive function, as their primary function is to represent their constituents in Parliament and attending to their needs, and voicing Public grievances and participation in the legislative process. I have no idea of the total number of Projects the Government have on its hands. This is crucial to know why 55 MPs are required to monitor Projects implementation. Whether they will be monitoring individually or in groups is not known. On the assumption there are a large number of Projects to monitor, then the 55 MPs, most of their time ,will be on the roads than in Parliament. There are Implementation Coordinating Committees at District and Divisional levels and top of it there is now a Parliamentary Monitoring Group of 55 MPs. By maximizing the number of people on the same job, there is a minimization of productivity of human resource. This is a negation of sound Management sense and principles.

Social Responsibility and Principle of Equity

Isn’t this Transport Allowance of Rs. 200,000/- doled out to 55 MPs, in addition to their regular salaries, and various Perks of monetary value, duty-free vehicles, subsidized food at Parliament restaurant  etc  is nothing but the Government self-serving itself from Public Funds, whereas the people are oppressed with a high cost of living and taxes. Where is social responsibility and equity? In this situation, strikes by Trade Unions of White or Blue colour variety, for salary increase seems more than justified. These employees are doing identifiable and measureable productive work than MPs’ vocal output. The payment of Rs. 200000/-to 55 MPs, seems a devious one, with an ulterior motive. 

The rationale for the Transport Allowance

The explanation for the Transport Allowance of Rs. 200000/- to a selective group of MPs, as stated by the Minister of Lands & Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Gayantha Karunatileke, is that “the previous Government also did the same through the Economic Development Ministry. Even special vehicles were provided at that time”. Following Precedents is good. But one cannot blindly follow them without discrimination between a good and a bad precedent. An action taken must be judged on its own merit and not because it was also done by another, previously. The truth of the matter is that the incumbent Government is faithfully following the previous Government, in buying  MPs by such devices as a contrived Transport Allowance, a monetary incentive, which in other words is a bribe, to win over and retain those whose allegiance is suspect, in view of the Presidential and General elections ahead. It is expediency and Party politics overriding national interests.

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Latest comments

  • 23
    0

    Let’s do some math
    200,000 Rs will buy 1380 litres of petrol @ 145 Rs/litre.
    1380 litres per month would be 46 litres per day. With 46 litres an average hybrid SUV would be able to travell 690 km even if I use a very conservative average consumption of 15 km per Litre.
    690 Km at an average speed of 30km per hour would need 23 hrs of travel time.
    MPs would be able to go from one end of Sri Lanka to the other end and back daily for project supervision.
    With this kind of travelling I wonder if they will have any time for themselves or their other duties considering 23hrs out of 24hrs they will be spent on the road.
    What dedication to project supervision!!!
    Sri Lankan MPs must be the most shameless bastards on earth. They make policy to scrape every penny out of the common man’s pockets and openly fill their pockets for the flimsiest of reasons.
    I will not be surprised if, very soon there will be a tax for breathing too, so that the outrageous ever increasing expense of governance can be covered.
    The reason Sri Lanka is descending to such depths of moral poverty in my humble opinion is due to gross lack of ethics.
    That is a topic for another time.
    Lasith

    • 5
      6

      Lasith, who drives at 30km/hr, may be your grandma, politicos go at 60km/hr at least, so do calculate again pls.

      • 3
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        Wannihami,

        Revaluation is not important. They did their math already. That amount is well within the limit.

        The money includes for the expensive Business Class Ticket, Hotel “Prison”, Expensive Foreign Label, Expensive Meal, Expensive Thai Girl serves on the traveled spot.

        215 MPs
        95 in opposition
        120 in Government
        115 are ministers
        95% of the government MPs is ministers. I would invite Guinness Book editors to take a look on this.

        It is in this game that Sampanthar and Sumanthiran selling Secret Solution (New Constitution) in North. What a comedy. “Aaththai Padukira Paadukkai TNA(Kutthiyan) Paalukkhuthaanaam”. (The spoiled brat cried for milk, has no idea of the troubles mother going through)

        Only way to fix Tamil and Sinhala Mondays and their 8th grade Representatives is Singapore-Malaysia solution, not the Secret Solution.

        • 0
          0

          Bondscam Ranil and his corrupt Finance ministers, Ravi K and Mangala the hair dresser, both, uneducated clowns, should be impeached for looting of the Central Bank and people’s wealth and taxes.

          When the PCOI Report on the Bondscam was released the attacks on Muslims happened via social media and Pathala Champika’s Mahasohon Balakaya to distract the people of Lanka from Ranil Wickramasinghe’s and Ravi K’s financial crimes against people of Lanka. Ranil would have been impeached that week if not for the anti- Muslim riots. The anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983was also when UNP was in power.
          Religion and ethnic identity politics in post-war Lankan is being again WEAPONIZED by Ranil’s foreign backers (US and India– this time against China).

          Meanwhile, Bondscam Ranil protects US citizen and Avant Guard scammer Gota Jarapassa and family of corrupt murderers in the name of Fake Reconcilliation while the people of Lanka are screwed by corrupt politicians in the UNP-SLFP bi partisan corruption or Jarapalanaya racket.

    • 13
      2

      Lasith, we are with you. For the last 70 plus years, didnt these bastards pull the wool over the eyes of the population from the day DS Senanayake took over the Judeo Christian Zionist System and launched the Buddhist Zionism under the Anagarika Adarmapala doctrines that espouses the assymetric deceptive WARS being waged against the minorities to prevent the people from knowing the truth about the real enemies-the Govigama Mafia Ruling Elites. All of them who ruled, coming from Govigama Mafia clan, were racists at some point in the legislation of laws when they were the ruling parties. And Now, the question that strikes everyone’s mind, puzzling why the criminals who took over the reign in 2015 are not doing anything to book the Rajapakse’s looting and the continuous loot which is still going on….. ???? the answer to this critical puzzle lies in the GOVIGAMA MAFIA ELITE fraternity. Its this, which is the curse that which is destroying all of us and the country.

      • 3
        4

        You are sick maggot. That is all I have to say.

      • 1
        0

        Radical Ideal
        What you say is absolutely true.
        I know this for a fact because…
        It makes me sick when people around me imply and feel they have a birth right to rule this country.
        Sad thing is that they too are equally suffering despite the Govigama brand name.
        Only a handful of the Govigama fellows are well off, the rest are sick psycophants who stupidy want to feel belonged.
        What a disaster. What a scam. What a life. What a pity.
        Lasith

    • 4
      0

      I thought they use the chopper to travel long distance.
      car is only for local commute.
      this is really beer money

    • 0
      0

      Thank you Lasith. This is the sort of laterally thought out questions we must compel our MPs to answer.

  • 21
    0

    The blame for this sorry state of affairs goes fairly and squarely to the dumb voter who is responsible for electing corrupt morons to Parliament.

    • 3
      1

      hancho pancha,

      “The blame for this sorry state of affairs goes fairly and squarely to the dumb voter who is responsible for electing corrupt morons to Parliament.”

      Yes, the dumb voter, mean IQ 79 is being taken for a ride by the politicians. Just watch an episode or two of the Sinhala Teledramas,, to see how dumb the audience is who watches those. The dumb-ness permeates the society.

    • 1
      0

      hancho pancha ~ “The blame for this sorry state of affairs goes fairly and squarely to the dumb voter who is responsible for electing corrupt morons to Parliament”.
      That is being harsh on the voters.
      Suppose there are just two airlines flying in and out of Katunayake and both cater only for the elites and so refuse to take you. What can you do?
      We are in a similar situation. We have to choose between two badys.

      • 1
        0

        you are right pillai.That is the root cause of the problem.However the voter is not compelled to take any airline.he can just stay at home.However for that to be effective there should be a law that states if the voter turnout is less than 60% then the election has to be held again within 3 months.Let the bastards lose all the money they spent on the election and next time come out with some decent candidates.At the moment whatever candidates chosen by the party gets the voted because the protest of staying at home does not stop them from entering parliament.

  • 8
    0

    Is there no end to the bleeding the country dry by politicians? Then we have the despicable GMOA demanding more & more perks all the time, which leads to other Govt. Trade Unions also demanding more but at the end of the day, is the average citizen getting their money’s worth?

    In this dog eat dog world of SL that is today, the Parliament is inflated, Govt. depts. are over staffed, they enjoy long breaks, the day is over by 4pm & no one is accountable. What a pathetic & sad situation.

    Politicians the world over, with a few exceptions, maybe corrupt but SL in recent years has become a another bankrupt state, just like failed African & South American countries ruled by despots. It’s time a political novice with integrity, like Macron of France, comes forward & forms Govt. with responsible, educated people, not yobs & opportunists but it’s unlikely that it would be acceptable to the average voter who are only used to mainstream politicians, yobs or not.

  • 13
    0

    Monitoring implementation of government projects? May we know what the 55 projects are ? (assuming each minister is at least responsible for one). What were they doing for the past three years ? Politicians are all the same – blood suckers. They have no conscience. The average person can hardly make ends meet. Come next elections they will vote again for a bunch of good for nothing morons.

  • 2
    12

    Why this allowance is not given to Budhist monks ?

    • 11
      0

      Jim, you expect dozens of outraged posters to respond and keep the fires of hatred burning for you. Try getting a job sometime.

      • 0
        5

        you Christians only care about christins dont care about Budhists. Budhists are not like that. we let you people live in our country

        • 2
          0

          Jim you idiot, I am a Buddhist. Keep taking the pills.

        • 2
          0

          Christians only care about christins dont care about Budhists.

          Tea Rubber plant English language was intriduses by British/ Christian brought many things with them, including their recreational sports. Three notable sports brought from the motherland were cricket, golf and rugby.

          Today, cricket seems to be much bigger in Sri Lanka.

    • 7
      1

      jim,

      Chandrika gave Benz cars and drivers to Mahanayakes so that they could travel comfortably when performing Pindapatha – holding the begging bowls out of the rear windows while seated comfortably.

      So, why deny this comfort to MPs when they monitor projects ?

    • 3
      2

      They don’t travel. Everything politician enjoys by traveling is delivered to temple for the Bold Heads. Benz car and gas ok to visit the the politicians; no need for travel allowance.

      • 0
        0

        We all are aware that the Mahanayakas are corrupt, but we don’t need loud mouthed overseas Tamils making use of this fact to bolster their own separatist agenda.

        • 1
          1

          paul

          “but we don’t need loud mouthed overseas Tamils making use of this fact to bolster their own separatist agenda.”

          Don’t you remember the Separatist agenda was blessed and initiated by the Mahasangha?

  • 4
    7

    The 55 Mp’s should be paid without any reservations.
    Mahinda paid much more than that to keep 2/3rd intact.
    Basil was the mastermind.

  • 7
    0

    Guys remember this is called democratic so called socialist (then add what ever you want) country,
    My foot. Hancho I am with you in this. As I have always maintained it is the public which is voting and electing these scoundrels. So they will also have to take the consequence. A small percentage of rogues have now become filthy rich including doctors, politicians, govt officials businessmen with influence and support from politicians…etc. They just keep looting and sharing the bounty. Doctors want more money/allowance to strike and hold public at ransom, politicians wants allowance to do nothing but steal more, The businessmen keep divesting there loot so that it keeps generating more and more (do they even bother paying tax, even if they the returns will make it up). But the public seems happy and wanting them more and more???? Ones I was in a country where the politicians are the one owning educational institutes, hospitals, construction sector ….etc….etc. and they were finding different avenues to loot more and more with their divestment, And some of these business were registered as charity organizations to avoid tax. This is politics.

    • 7
      1

      I have this theory that any country that has the word ‘Democratic’ in it’s name has very little real democracy. For example the Congo, former East Germany, North Korea etc

      • 1
        3

        Does America have it? You colonial relic hiding under rocks at Halgolla.

        • 2
          0

          Unethical moron, is America known as the Democratic United States of America?

    • 2
      0

      Balanced Score Card: In Philippines, the budget is released in instalments to the provincial bodies based on their performance. A technique called Balanced Score Card is used to assess their performance.
      .

      I am against the idea of releasing more of tax payers money to the politicos for any reason. It is just a way of legitimizing the bribes given to them for keeping in line with their leaders and doing more of nothing, which is the only thing they are good at.

      .

  • 8
    0

    How much longer are we , the citizens, allowing successive governments to rape and plunder
    this country and its assets which belong to all Sri Lankan’s ?

  • 2
    0

    When country is bleeding some one is curious about the speed in which the politician is driving his/her SUV. Right there you have the answer for the pathetic situation of this country.

  • 4
    0

    This is a big fuss

    Let projects be monitored by relevant officials.

    MPs don’t have any duty there. Irony is that they’re to be paid to interfere.

    We have more than enough MPs. Parliament MPs, PC MPs, LG MPs. See how many rogues there to depend on public funds.

    There must be a commitment to reduce the number of MPs so those who promise to cut down the number of MPs must be elected to the house so start now to prepare election manifesto accordingly.

    People did not ask for PCs Cancel them; millions can be saved.

    In 71 we had only 112 parliament MPs, lets go back to 71 & make a cabinet of maximum 20.

  • 2
    0

    “Who will Monitor the Monitors of the Projects?”

    what is this donk talking.You just appoint a deputy state minister to monitor the monitoring MP and pay him(iam unable to put him or her here as men love to travel) 200000 rupees travel allowance.I think we don’t have deputy state ministers though we have deputy ministers.So there,problem solved.

  • 13
    0

    Lasith.

    Your line…..
    Srilankan MPs must be the most shameless bastards on Earth…

    I could not possibly have said it better Lasith!

  • 8
    0

    If we can pay this kind of huge amounts to politicians, we can hire some talented guys from foreign countries and make them politicians. Yes, it sounds dumb, but what I wanted to say is Sri Lankans are useless and will not do anything for the country’s betterment, be them educated or uneducated.

  • 5
    0

    Radical Ideas: You said: ” For the last 70 plus years didn’t these bastards pull the wool over the eyes of the population…….”. If the “BASTARDS” managed to hood wink the population for 70 plus years, I would ask you to tell me who the “REAL BASTARDS” are? Those “Bastards” you refer to are the “MASTER ARTISANS” of art and craft of hoodwinking the GULLIBLE and IMBECILE “VOTER POPULATION” of Sri Lanka. This voter population that I speak of includes even the most of the Administrators of the country. The PROOF: Yesterday a team of 6 from the Law Enforcement VISITED the deposed “KING” (MR) at his “RESIDENCE” (Palace) to record a statement related to the Keith Noyar’s case. Why? He (MR) did not respond to the call to report at the CID office. Even his brother, the “DEVIL” in disguise had to be ordered by the Courts to report at a relevant Law Enforcement office to record a statement. Much earlier the Law Enforcement was “INSTRUCTED” to visit another “Palace” (ex Speaker’s residence) by this “Yahapalanaya” to record a statement from the “QUEEN” (Shiranthi Rajapakse). So isn’t this “Miracle of Asia” called Sri Lanka a “SLAVE STATE” populated by SLAVES who SLAVER for survival and managed by “SLAVE DRIVERS”. Coming back to the main topic of this “Transport Allowance” another “Slave Driver”, Mano Ganwshan, participating at a TV discussion said: “No Decision” was made but “JUSTIFIED” payment. This is another show of “SLAVE TRADE” – trading SLAVES from one camp to the other.

    • 4
      0

      Douglas
      Not all our rulers are “BASTARDS”. Some might have or presently do produce bastards.

  • 2
    0

    Somapalan: How many ministers, Deputy ministers and State ministers. It is over 113. The balance get I think 200,000. I think now for the UNP as well as for the SLFP has enough ministers to set up a govt. IT is simply, alwqys, Sri lanka’s politics is recycling of three groups of thieves. they wanted to increase it into 300 because there are so many childrens of political families whio wants come into politics. You people complain for issues. Do you say no one in Sri lanka does not know that politicians engage in LEGALIZED FINANCIAL-FRAUDS. but who present a solution. Everybody talks about issues and not the corrupt system that needs a change. Ranil, Mahinda Rajapakse and Maithripala Sirisena as well people around them are of the same kind. Why di dnot you write about DRAMA by National list MPs to come back. Rishad Bathiuddin is a National List MP. but, both Mahinda Rajapakse and Maithripala sirisena treat him like a Diplomat. Why ? Bhikkus accused of different things should give All these politicians their PINPETTIYA and see how easy you go free.

  • 5
    0

    Sri lanka hs unemployed graduates. but, the parliament is full of O/L failed Experts.

    • 2
      0

      Sri Lanka is full of many unemployed graduates. because the parliament is full of O/L failed Experts.

  • 2
    0

    P. Soma Palan
    This “Transport Allowance Of Rs.200,000 To 55 MPs” is a form of bribery – similar to Duty-free limousines, perks, salary increases and the like.
    Democracy as we know it, has evolved into a system where corruption/nepotism/impunity is needed to keep it crawling aimlessly.
    .
    Bribery is giving and/or accepting favours. Here are examples from a long list
    Right now the most celebrated cash bribe giver is Bill Crosby. He used his earnings.
    Trump is another trying to buy silence. From his earnings? Do not know.
    Ian Paisly (Jr) and Liam Fox accepted GoSL hospitality.
    In SL, bribery is big business investment. One often pays bribes to make more, more bribes to make even more and so on.
    .
    The thingy Soma Palan refers to is self-bribery – pocket money for a ‘quickee’. Tax payer funded.
    Lollies for potential dissidents to stay inside the tent and point the piss outside.

  • 4
    0

    this colombo mayor is also increasing the pay. All UNPyers are trying to bag what they can before they are kicked out. The old man Ranil does not understand any thing. useless chap

  • 1
    0

    Lasith: In your calculation why forgot to include the most vital factor i.e. The travelling time and usage allocated to the “Legal” and “Non Legal” (in local terms “KEEPS”) Spouses ; Children and their friends; Relatives (both close and distant). Don’t you think they too are on various “PROJECT” “Inspections” and “Evaluations”? Those “PROJECTS” are even “Evaluated” and “Benefits” collected at “Parking Lots” in “Five Star” Hotels. Did you not hear that one of the Ministers is allocated 7 vehicles i.e 4 in excess of the “Official” allocation. So this Rs. 200,000.00 is “PEA NUTS”. The “SLAVES” of Sri Lanka will VOTE to “TREBLE” that allowance at a future election; because they (VOTERS) would LOVE to be in the company of their “Elected Representative” at “Weddings”; (including “Puberty” events)”Funerals” ; “Alms Giving” (most importantly to BBS Brigade) “Buddha Statue” opening events etc. etc….My friend all this involve “Travelling” and these MPs must be “Properly” and “Adequately” remunerated by the “Direct & Indirect” taxes collected from the very SLAVES and they don’t mind it. So don’t PROTEST. Just mind your OWN … WHAT!?

  • 1
    0

    This is nothing short of a bribe openly palming over to to selected 55 MPP. by the UNP Economists with a view to garnering their support at forth coming Elections, by hook or by crook they want to come back to power and these are the subtle ways. We have seen much bigger deals. Political leaders and Ministers must not think that all citizens are fools as most of the MPP. are. Most of these 55 if not all will use their privileges and Govt. facilities to pocket this allowance without spending a red cent. We are making these observations knowing very well the quality of politicians of today. Please stop cheating the poor, enough is enough.

  • 1
    0

    This monitoring thingy has been tried before.
    Remember Duminda Silva had this role of Monitoring the then Defence Ministry. Unfortunately he lost memory!

    • 1
      0

      K.Pillai

      Have you forgotten Sajin De Vass Gunawardenawas the monitoring/mentoring MP of External Affairs Minister Rhodes Scholar Gamini L Peiris PhD Professor of Law Fellow of Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London ……………………………………and the Dean of the Faculty of Law former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, …………… ?

  • 3
    0

    The auditor to take strick action of travel tracking for travel claims having a weekly audit report not end of every year.

    Look out expense a small leak will sink a great ship.

    The Mayor of London, his first day in his new job was taking the bus to work.

  • 0
    0

    If to add another joke – the uneducated hooligans elected are saying they are equal to the judges of the country – LOLFMBS

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