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    No issue working with President - Minister

    December 21, 2018

    Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said they had no problem in working in co-operation with President Maithripala Sirisena.The President had his own people’s mandate while the Government had a separate people’s mandate. Therefore, they had no problem in working together while honouring those two people’s mandates.

    Minister Samaraweera said so responding to a question raised by a journalist when he assumed duties at his Ministry office yesterday.Minister Samaraweera said the Vote on Account covering government expenditure for the first quarter of 2019 would be presented in Parliament on December 21.

    He said their first task was to correct the damage caused to the economy during the past month since the October 26 Black Friday. They should allocate funds for public sector salaries, pension payments, school uniform distribution programme, Samurdhi assistance and the fertilizer subsidy.The Vote on Account is presented for this purpose. He said the Ministry was also ready to present the 2019 Budget in Parliament. It would provide a host of relief measures for the public. It would be much different to the bogus relief measures announced by the illegal government.

    Referring to the propaganda carried out by Mahinda Rajapaksa about providing tax relief to people engaged in agriculture, Minister Samaraweera said there were a minute 0.03 percent of farmers eligible to pay income tax
    He said fuel prices would be reviewed on December 21 according to the price formula, taking world oil prices into consideration.

    He said the Cost of Living sky rocketed during the last one month since October 26 black Friday. The price of a dollar which was Rs.173 had reached Rs.180. Their intention is to restore normalcy.Parliamentarian Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa who crossed over to the government was also present on this occasion. Asked why those who crossed over were not given ministry posts, Minister Samaraweera said there was a court decision preventing them from obtaining Ministry posts. They hoped to get the Interim Order revoked and provide ministry posts to those who crossed over as well as others due to crossover in future and take steps to strengthen the economy.

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