Acting Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana says that the latest supplementary estimate on President’s expenditure has been given an erroneous definition and the amount is not only for the President Maithripala Sirisena’s personal expenses. The Minister also mentioned that compared to previous year allocations, this year amount is considerably small.

“Rs.2567.5 million has been allocated for the expenditure of the President’s office and related matters. The amount includes the normal administration works of the office, the works of a number of institutes which come under the Presidential Secretariat. According to the Appropriation bill of No.41 of 2014 (amended in 2015 as No.01), the funds have been transferred.” The minister said in his statement.

He has also added that the structure changes in the ministries in 2015 have directly affected on this matter. “When some of the institutes don’t get a ministry as well as new ministries were introduced, the weight comes on the President’s allocation.”

Minister Abeywardana further added that the amount also includes the expenditure which occurred during last year for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly and the humanitarian air missions between Colombo and Kathmandu.

He added that some media has reported that Rs 180 million has been allocated to renovate and refurbish the official residence of the President and that is wrong. “In 2013, the amount allocated for the President was Rs.8, 332.6 million and it was Rs10, 146.7 million in 2014. However, this year it is only Rs 3,597.5 million and by August 31, the real expenditure is Rs 1,786.3 million,” the Minister stressed.