EC writes to President; seeks funds to pay OT, holiday payments and salaries for pensionersView(s):
The Election Commission has sought Rs 60 million for overtime payment for its employees who were involved in preparations for the local council elections, which are now set to be further postponed.
In addition to OT payments, the EC has requested funds for holiday payments for staff officers (Rs 12.8 million), salaries for pensioners who have been called back for service (Rs 2.2 million) and casual pay with allowances (Rs 12.7 million).
The request for the funds has been referred to the President in his capacity as Finance Minister.
Meanwhile, Election Commission sources said they have called for a party secretaries’ meeting next week to discuss about the non-availability of funds to conduct elections.
Government Printer Gangani Liyanage has said her department was unable to go ahead with printing of ballot papers due to the Treasury’s delay in releasing funds,
Lawyers representing Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara have informed Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana in writing that they will charge him with Contempt of Court.
In a letter to Mr. Siriwardana, Attorney-at-Law Sampath Wijewardene points out that on March 3 the Supreme Court (SC) granted leave to proceed with the petition filed by his client in addition to issuing an interim order to the Finance Minister (represented by the Attorney General) and the Treasury Secretary preventing them from withholding any funds allocated by Budget 2023 for the purpose of conducting the local government elections until the final determination of the application.
Consequent to the said orders, the Election Commission (EC) wrote to the Treasury Secretary on March 7, urging him to release funds on a staggered basis, beginning from March 14 with the release of Rs 100 Million as the first instalment, the letter adds.
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