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Opposition opposes issuing Treasury Bills worth one trillion

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There was a heated debate, in Parliament, yesterday, when Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa objected to a decision made by the government to raise one trillion rupees, by issuing Treasury Bills..Premadasa said the approval of the Public Finance Committee was needed to issue Treasury Bills as an urgent need and that the Committee currently did not have a permanent chairman.

“The decisions at the Committee are taken under an acting chairman. Therefore, these decisions are not valid. The current acting chairman is a government MP which is a violation of Standing Orders. Standing Orders clearly state that the Finance Committee has to be chaired by an Opposition MP,” Premadasa said.

Chief government Whip Prasanna Rantunga said the Opposition should name a suitable MP to be the chairman of the Public Finance Committee.

“The Opposition must come up with some names and we will consider them. We appointed an Opposition MP as the head of Finance Committee but the Opposition forced him to resign,” he added.

Minister Bandula Gunawardene said the money is being raised to pay salaries.

“We need a lot of money to pay salaries and welfare. We can’t print money because of the IMF agreement. Treasury must present a report to the House on the total State expenditure, on a monthly basis, so that the MP will be aware of the expenditures,” he said.

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