Government holds back Vote on Account motion | Daily News


Government holds back Vote on Account motion

The government yesterday refrained from presenting the motion for a Vote on Account following the Opposition’s objection to support it. Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena held the Opposition responsible for the difficulties that the move would cause the public, as the Vote on Account was to lessen the economic difficulties they suffered.

Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena at the commencement of yesterday’s session informed the Speaker that the Opposition has proposed amendments to the Vote on Account that the government was to present. During the session, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya suspended the proceedings at 10.30 a.m. about an hour to hold a party leaders’ meeting on the matter.

Following the party leaders’ meeting, the Leader of the House informed the House that the government shall not be presenting the Vote on Account as the Opposition opposed it.

“We planned on presenting the Vote on Account to resolve certain issues left unattended by the Yahapalana government.

The previous government has not paid for medicine supplies of the government hospitals.

They have not allotted for the concessions given for fertilisers either. There are loans taken to fulfill the daily needs of the public, and the banks from which these loans were taken, were not paid back either. We have explained all this at the Party Leaders’ meeting.” Gunawardena said.

The Leader of the House said the Attorney General has cleared whatever the legal issues raised by the Opposition concerning the Vote on Account. We as a government is responsible for these payments, Gunawardena said.

“It is not appropriate to block an attempt to fulfill the needs of the public. This blocks our ability to obtain the necessary loans and find solutions for the issues that are overwhelming the public. The previous government has gone home without paying their debts. The public has sent the Yahapalana government home. The Yahapalana government did not think even that they would be going home this time. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has very clearly said that the Vote on Account is to address people’s problems. We are bound to ease their difficulties.” Gunawardena said.

“Now that the Opposition has refused to support us to pass the Vote on Account, we will not present the proposal to avoid any more complexities,” Gunawardena said.

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella questioned if the government has withdrawn both sections of the proposal, the Leader of the House answered affirmatively.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa then rose and said that the Opposition was not against the whole proposal which has come in two sections. “We fully support the first section, which includes proposals on development. However, the government has proposed to raise the credit limit. It has already requested a moratorium from the government of India to pay back loans. So, we cannot agree with an increase in the credit limit,” Premadasa said.

Now that the government has decided not to present the motion, debating on it is pointless, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said.

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