Allowance for MPs to meet increased meal prices
By Santhush Fernando
The government has proposed that an allowance be paid to Parliamentarians to cover up the cost of a proposed increase in the cost of MPs meals.

Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told Parliament the government was planning to increase the prices of meals provided in Parliament in keeping with prevailing market prices.

However The Sunday Times learns that the government has proposed a separate meal allowance be provided for the MPs to overcome the additional expenditure incurred by them due to the proposed increase.

However theallowance is yet to be determined at a future party leaders' meetings. Currently the MPs are provided meals at Rs. 15 for lunch and at Rs. 6 for breakfast.

This decision was taken after a private television station telecast a programme showing that the meals served were incurring a heavy expenditure on the Government.

Minister Fernandopulle told the House on Thursday that the programme contained malicious contents, which might lead the public to vent their anger of the parliamentary system.

Jathika Hela Urumaya parliamentary group leader the Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera told The Sunday Times that although the JHU along with other parties agreed to the increase of the price of meals, they were opposed to MPs being given an allowance.

Chief Opposition whip, Mahinda Samarasinghe confirmed that it had been proposed to pay an allowance to MPs to make up the additional cost but he said the UNP would oppose it.

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