Host of absentees at vote of VAT Bill in House | Daily News

Host of absentees at vote of VAT Bill in House


Eight Cabinet Ministers, four State Ministers and eight Deputy Ministers were absent during the vote on the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Wednesday.

A total of 65 members were absent during the second reading vote of the VAT Bill. Out of them, six ministers and three deputy ministers represent the UNP, while two ministers, four state ministers and five deputy minsters represent the SLFP.Ministers Mano Ganeshan, Harin Fernando, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mangala Samaraweera, Rajitha Senaratne, Abdul Haleem, Nimal

Siripala de Silva and Duminda Dissanayake were notable absentees during the vote.

Out of them, Minister de Silva was on an official tour in Geneva to attend the IPU Assembly along with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. The four state ministers absent were T.B. Ekanayake, Priyankara Jayaratne, Lakshman Seneviratne and A.H.M. Fowzie.

The three UNP deputy ministers absent were Ranjan Ramanayake, Ameer Ali Shihabdeen and H. M. M. Harees. Deputy Ministers Sumedha G. Jayasena, Lakshman Wasatha Perera, Arundhika Fernando, Nishatha Muthuhettigama and Dulip Wijesekara, who were representing the SLFP were also absent.

All 16 TNA MPs including Opposition Leader R. Sampathan were also absent. The absent list of MPs included 12 UNP MPs and 16 UPFA MPs in the Opposition.

The absence of MPs Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chamal Rajapaksa was also a highlight. JVP MP Vijitha Herath was also not present.

The number of absentees at the VAT Bill was considerably high as both government and opposition parties had requested all their members to be present without fail at the time of voting.

The vote was taken by name following a division asked by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena around 7.00 p.m. The second reading of the Bill was massed with a majority of 66 votes. It received 112 votes in favour and 46 votes against.


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