SL President will not attend opening session of parliament

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 November 2003, 14:07 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at 10.30 a.m. after two weeks' prorogation by the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge. However, the President will not attend parliament and speaker Mr.Joseph Michael Perera will deliver the opening address instead, parliamentary sources said, adding that he will read her inaugural address.

However, the President as the Minister of Defense, Interior and Mass Communication is likely to attend parliament when votes on the three ministries under her, defense, interior and mass communication, are taken up for debate, People's Alliance sources said.

Finance Minister Mr.K.N.Choksy will present the third budget of the United National Front government Wednesday afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The Finance Ministry in a press statement said that this year's budget proposals, which include a three-year development project, would also focus on reducing the cost of living and solving unemployment.

Finance Minister Mr.Choksy said at a press briefing that the budget proposals will comprise direct and greater relief to the people including special benefits to the lower and middle income sections, public officers, the farmer community, pensioners and the police department.

The Speaker Tuesday presided over a meeting attended by leaders of all political parties represented in parliament in his chamber.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, has asked his ruling party parliamentarians to participate in the budge debate without failure.

The main budget debate will take place for six days and the committee stage debate for thirteen days.

 

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