Northern Province Governor, Major General (Retd) G. A. Chandrasiri has advised the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) to spend Rs. 1.38 billion already allocated by the government for projects beneficial to the people in the region.
Finance and Planning Ministry Secretary, Dr. P. B. Jayasundara who was in Jaffna last Friday met with the Secretaries to Provincial Ministries, as well as heads of departments. The provincial authorities had requested for Rs. 6.97 billion from the 2015 Budget, sources said. Dr. Jayasundara had said that he would discuss the request with President Mahinda Rajapaksa under whose purview the Finance Ministry functions and make the necessary allocations. .
The Governor told The Sunday Island that he had summoned the four Northern Provincial Ministry Secretaries as well as the Secretary to the Chief Minister (CM) for a meeting at the Governor’s Secretariat last week. He pointed out that the Governor is vested with special powers on all matters relating to the province under Section 19 of the Provincial Councils Act No. 49 of 1989 and had the authority to ascertain whether funds were utilized properly.
He said that the PC had spent only Rs. 345.34 million during the last eight months for development work up to August 31, 2014. Chief Secretary of the Northern Province, Mrs Vijayaluxmi Ramesh and the Secretary to the Governor, L. Illangovan were present at the discussion. Chandrasiri said that he handed over the keys of a car valued at Rs. 10 million for the use of the Chief Minister of the province and another vehicle valued at Rs. 6 million for a Provincial Minister. In July this year, he had given four more vehicles.
The Governor said that the government allocated Rs. 1,87 billion to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) for capital expenditure in 2014. Later, an additional Rs. 15.78 million was granted as a supplementary estimate. The revised allocation for 2014 was Rs. 1.891 billion, but up to August 31, they had expended only Rs. 345.34 million. There was a balance of Rs. 1.385 billion in the account. With time running out, the money may have to be returned, he explained.