The supplementary estimate presented to the Parliament on October 06 by the Minister of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs Gayantha Karunathilake included the expenditure of several ministries and institutions, including the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Plantation Industries, Home Affairs & Fisheries, Highways and Investment Promotion as well as the expenditure of the Presidential Secretariat.

The attention of the Presidential Secretariat has been drawn to the media reports regarding the supplementary estimate to allocate Rs 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of the President.

The Secretary to the President points out that the Government had to rehabilitate and improve the residence of the President by joining two old houses to bring it to a proper condition which is suitable for the use of the President.

In addition to that the Government had to provide security to the official residence of the President and to provide accommodation facilities for the security personnel of the President and also steps were taken to renovate garages at the premises. The Secretary to the President further stated that all the renovation works were completed by the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau.

If the President uses the President’s House in Pettah the Government would have to spend more than 15 million rupees per month for the utility costs of water and electricity in addition to the maintenance costs. President Maithripala Sirisena declined to stay in the President’s House due to its high maintenance costs, the Secretary to the President further revealed.