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UNP denounces LG polls delay: Eran

 

State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that the UNP denounces the delaying of the Local Government polls and added that elections should be held at the right time.

The State Minister said this joining the committee stage debate on the financial heads of the Ministries of Disaster Management, Women and Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage in Parliament today.

It was his view that when a new Constitution is drafted, specific dates on which elections should be held should be clearly defined.

Meanwhile, refuting a statement made by TNA- MP Shanthi Sriskandarasa that liquor licences are being issued which promotes the consumption of alcohol, Wickramaratne said the government certainly has no such intention.

“We are ready not just to increase the price of beer but all varieties of alcohol. We need to collect taxes for the benefit of the people. If the Opposition proposes the increase of beer, we are prepared to raise the price of all alcohol.”

According to Minister Eran Wickramaratne, the government is now ready to increase female representation in the political sphere fulfilling an election promise made to create a new Sri Lanka for women.

As promised, he noted that the government has stipulated a 25% female representation at the upcoming Local Government elections.

He pointed out that female engagement in the tea and rubber sector is fairly high but in the calculation of the GDP female contribution is not included.

A mother’s contribution to society, though highly significant is not included in the GDP, he said.

“Female representation in the state sector is around 50% but in the highest rung of management, there is only one female for every six males. In the second level management there is only one female for every five males. While women are ahead of males in the academic sphere, women receive far fewer opportunities in decision making roles. We need to change this,” he said.

Wickramaratne noted that with this objective, through the budget it was proposed to create child care facilities at workplaces in order to facilitate greater female participation in the work force.