Aug 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka Speaker of parliament today said that although there is a proposal to increase the salaries of the lawmakers and ministers no decision has been taken yet.
Responding to the media reports that a proposal to increase the salaries of parliamentarian and ministers by 215% has been forwarded to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Speaker's Office in a media release said their attention has been focused on few electronic media reports that carried wrong information about an increase on salaries of the lawmakers.
According to resolution passed through proceedings in parliament on 23 November 2006, it has been decided to increase the salaries of parliamentarians and ministers in parallel to the salary increases of higher judicial officers.
Accordingly on this background, the Speaker has received a proposal that the salaries of the Ministers and MPs should also be amended according to the recent salary increase of the High Court Judges.
The Speaker has sent the notifications he received to the Secretary General of the Parliament for observations.
"However, we emphasize that no decision has been taken so far regarding the salary increase of the Ministers and MPs," the statement said.
The Speaker's Office said in arriving at a final decision on salary increases, the views of the people's representatives in parliament will be taken after a party leader's meeting held to decide whether to follow the 23 November 2006 decision or whether to address the pay raises in a different manner.
Meanwhile, lawmakers of the United National Party and opposition have expressed opposition to any salary increases.
Further, the Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera said the Finance Ministry has not received any proposal to increase salaries and he is against increasing salaries to anyone at this time.
UNP spokesman Minister Harin Fernando also told the BBC Sinhala service that the UNP would not agree to increase the salaries of the MPs or ministers.
JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath also said raising salaries at this time is not justifiable.
Joint Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa also in a Twitter message has said that a salary increase is unfair when public is burdened with heavy taxes and rising cost of living.
The last time allowances for Members of Parliament increased was in November 2016. The monthly office allowance for the 225 Members of Parliament was increased to Rs. 100,000 and the attendance allowance was increased to Rs. 2,500 per day.
Apart from Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, all Members of Parliament had obtained the allowance. Ramanayake opposed the increase of allowances.