Sri Lanka’s presidential election will cost COST eat into public funds running into billions of rupees with increasing government expenditure beyond the control of the Treasury. The estimated cost of conducting of election by the Election Secretariat had been around Rs. 2.5 billion but spending of ministries and affiliated institutions including indirect costs as well as massive spending by President Mahinda Rajapaksa will add at least another Rs. 8 billion making the total cost for the 2015 presidential election a staggering Rs.10.5 billion, preliminary estimates of the Treasury revealed.
Meetings of public sector officials of 15 different fields and other civil society groups held at Temple Trees as a precursor to the election has cost the state around Rs.750 million, official sources said.
Such massive spending for elections will badly affect the country’s economic growth prospects in 2015, an economic analyst said adding that the money spend for elections campaign is a loss for country as it will not bring any economic benefits for the country and the people.
Meanwhile the Government Press has sought Rs. 250 million from the Treasury to print around 16 million ballot papers and other printed
material for the upcoming presidential elections, official sources revealed.
In addition a sum of Rs.1.5 million is needed to purchase and install a power generator which is to be used in case of power disruptions as the ballot paper printing process should be completed at least two weeks before the election, a senior official of the Government Press said. Both these amounts are part of the Rs.10.5 billion estimate.
Each and every ballot paper has a special security mark to prevent stuffing and vote rigging, he emphasized. He added that apart from police protection, a network of CCTV cameras will be installed to monitor the printing process