Gunawardena was speaking during a media briefing at the Department of Government Information yesterday (21).
“In April, payment of the allowance cost Rs. 25 - Rs.30 billion of public funds. In May, as the Treasury did not have sufficient funds to repeat this effort, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presented a new Cabinet paper to raise Rs. 16 billion by other means. The Cabinet paper requested Cabinet approval to give the Treasury Secretary the authority to use the savings deposits of the Samurdhi Authority kept at the People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon to raise Rs. 16 billion as a short-term loan from a bank. The Treasury Secretary was also given the authority to hold discussions with banks to raise this money and then later repay it through a special allocation,” Gunawardena said.