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* As economy shrinks more working people pushed below poverty line – Eran
Wed, Sep 28, 2022, 09:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 28, Colombo: While there is so much of poverty in the country, with loss of employment, loss of income malnourishments, children going to schools have been disrupted, certain people continue to steal and rob the country.

It was recently exposed about exorbitant prices being paid to import of coal and petroleum into the country, SJB Parliamentarian Eran Wickramaratne said addressing a press conference today (28) at the Office of the Leader of Opposition.

Further speaking, the MP expressed his dismay over the Sri Lanka Government, instead of importing petrol directly from Russia based on their internal prices, buying it from Singapore Brent, based on their price by paying an additional premium.

One company has been allowed to import petrol from Russia as the prices in Russia has come down due to war. There are lots of unanswered questions as to why the Russian petrol is being actually purchased from Singapore by the government. On the face of it, it appears clearly that there is a corruption in this dealing.

“We will ask the petroleum minister to give an explanation to the country as to why the government imports the Russian oil at a higher price from a third party when there is an opportunity to import at a lower price directly from Russia.”

On the issue of governance, he said, the government recently appointed 38 State Ministers and the president is being pressurized by Rajapaksas to appoint 12 More Ministers to the Cabinet of Ministers. Then one third of the members in Parliament are the ministers, a situation which is unheard in any democratic country.

About 30 years ago an Administrative Reform committee appointed in 1988 had recommended as to how the ministers should be appointed on a scientific basis. But the present government gives more priority to ensure the wellbeing of its parliamentarians rather than the needs of the people despite difficulties faced by the country and the people. These difficulties are not a matter for the ruling family and their cronies.

He also reminded that whatever the government says about economic reforms even after the change of President due to struggles made by the youths, no new investments or new development projects or new capital inflows were forthcoming in to the country. As a result of this, due to income losses, not only the ordinary people but also the working class are being pushed below the poverty line. As per the 2022, 2nd quarter report of the Census and Statistics Department a person needs at least Rs 13,188 for a month.

Accordingly, a family of five person needs nearly Rs. 65,000 to be above the poverty line. Around 60 to 70 % of the working class in the public and the private sector receive the salary of below Rs 65,000 and they are gradually pushed below the poverty line demonstrate the gravity of the economy of the country.

Though malnutrition has exacerbated due to this, the government disregarding even the international reports in this regard, keeps on expanding the Cabinet giving more priority to ensure the privileges of ministers rather than the needs of the people. The protest by the people on expanding the cabinet has fallen on deaf ears of the leaders of this government.

 

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