Foreign travel allowance to be slashed from tomorrowView(s):
By Damith Wickremasekara
The overseas allowance for ministers, parliamentarians and senior officials will be slashed from tomorrow on a directive from the President’s Office.
The Finance Ministry has been directed by the President’s Office to reduce the payment of allowance and the number of days they would be entitled to claim the allowance.
All travel for public officials to attend training programmes, study tours, conferences, discussions and tours on local expenses also has been banned by the presidential directive. They would be able to travel only if they receive a fully sponsored visit.
Accordingly, the daily consolidated allowance for ministers, provincial governors, members of parliament, provincial council ministers, mayors, urban council and pradeshiya sabha chairmen has been reduced from US$ 200 to 150 a day.
The allowances for other officials have been reduced by 30 percent of the existing daily allowances.
The incidental expenses for airport charges, overseas travel within a country, and telephone and other expenses during workshops, training, and discussions which stood at US$ 40 a day for a maximum of 30 days have been brought down to US$ 25 a day for a maximum of 15 days.
The allowance paid during official visits has been brought down to US$ 40 for a maximum of 10 days from US$ 75 for a 15-day period.
When a scholarship is received and no additional allowance is paid, the officer will be entitled to US$ 25 a day for a maximum of 10 days as against the previous payment of US$ 40 a day for 15 days.
If a minister or the ministry secretary as head of the delegation is expected to meet the entertainment allowance, he would be able to obtain US$ 750 through the Sri Lankan mission overseas. In the absence of a Sri Lankan mission in that country, the payment would be made to the respective minister or official on the approval of the President.
According to the new circular, a previous circular issued in 2015 has been amended.
Figures show that, for the first two months, the government has spent Rs 70 million on travel expenses.
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