The Government today defended what it says was a personal request from P B Jayasundera, the Secretary to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to state employees to donate their May salary, in part or full, to the Government.
Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said that the request was not mandatory and anyone who wished could donate the salary or not.
He said that Jayasundera has been unfairly attacked on social media over the request he made.
Gunawardena said that Jayasundera has a right to make such a personal request and it is upto the state sector employees to decide if they want to donate the salary or not.
In a letter dated May 5 and addressed to all state sector employees, Jayasundera said that avenues of state revenue have been blocked due to the standstill in the international trade, export and tourism following the coroanvirus pandemic.
“Although this may be a temporary pressure on the economy, the government is duty bound to service its debts. Even if we manage local debt, we have to somehow pay foreign debt by using the limited state revenue available,” the letter stated, urging the employees to contribute their May month”s salary, in full or part, to help the Government tide over the economic crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic
Jayasundera said he would donate his May”s salary for the cause.
The letter stated that nearly Rs 100 billion is needed to meet the state sector salary payments every month. (Colombo Gazette)