Chairman of the Elections Commission (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya is saying that the cash needed to run the upcoming parliamentary elections money has not yet been allocated.
Addressing reporters at the EC this morning, Deshapriya said that a problem has arisen since the payments to some government officials who worked for the previous presidential election have been delayed.
“We have a problem because even at present some government teachers haven’t been paid the money which was supposed to be paid to them. Especially the teachers from Mahiyanganaya have even sent us a petition complaining that they did not receive money,” he said.
“At the moment money hasn’t been allocated for the parliamentary elections. Only the President has the power to decide the date to hold the elections. Once the parliament is dissolved, the President can ask for money by presenting a special warrant paper,” he added.
Deshapriya pointed out that although the EC has requested a sum of Rs 4000 million from the Vote on Account, only Rs 1004 million has been allocated.
“This means that there is a shortfall of Rs 2996 million. Because of this issue, some state institutions are stuck at present. For example, the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government has done the payments to its officers from the money allocated for the Ministry from the Vote,” he added.
The EC Chairman further said that the Treasury cannot issue money to the Commission without the consent of the parliament as the money allocated from the Vote on Account is already given.
“The Treasury cannot issue us money these days because the money allocated from the Vote on Account is over. We’ve been paid Rs 1000 million and without the consent of the parliament, they can only give us another four million. If we receive another 35 million, we will be able to pay the teachers.”
However, Deshapriya said, “Neither the previous government nor the present government or any official is to be blamed in this regard because the allocation of money happens according to the available money in the country,”