The Perpetual Penthouse Delight
Posted on July 28th, 2017

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Courtesy Courtesy The Island

From what we know about a penthouse leased by the former Minister of Finance, there is a very easy way for the Treasury to cut down on the huge amount of money spent on ministerial housing.

It will certainly be very simple for the Cabinet to take a decision on the new plan to meet the cost of such official ministerial housing, with no cost whatever to the citizen – whether taxpayer of not.

All it has to do is decide that the costs of the housing of Cabinet

Ministers will be met by the companies, private institutions or business persons that have business dealings with the relevant ministries, or ministers. Whether it is a two or three storey building, fully furnished, with all other necessary facilities or a penthouse, or whatever other luxury premises will be left to the minister’s pleasure. All that is needed is for the company or person that is engaged in business with the ministry or minister or carrying out business facilitated by the relevant ministry, to sign the lease agreement for the premises.


Just imagine what a huge saving this would be to the country. With the Cabinet having 44 members – other than the President and Prime Minister – there would be 44 such lease agreements, drawn by key business people, or those who are not very well known in business but do have profitable dealings with the concerned ministries/ministers, paying the best prices in the market – always running into several millions of rupees per month.

With the well-known generosity of the business class, there is no need to restrict this expenditure cut down for the Treasury to be limited to the lease for the premises. The same business house or person, or others who would like to chip in to be of service to a Cabinet minister, could also meet the monthly expenses such as fuel (for vehicles, too), electricity, and even water and gas, as well as the upkeep of the premises, and the salaries of staff, too.

With the President having to call for a delay of Supplementary Estimates in Parliament for the import of luxury duty free vehicles for ministers, due to the expenditure on floods and landslides, that problem could also be easily removed. All that is required is for business houses or persons to make downright payments, with duty paid too, if necessary, for the luxury vehicles imported for ministers. I’ve no doubt there will be a queue lined up to make the down payments for such vehicle imports.

I can’t imagine why we had to wait almost 70 years since gaining independence, and even forty years since the free trade economy of 1977, to realize the possibility of such a system of supplying the housing and other facilities of ministers in good governance.

With it not being secret that ministers, especially the Cabinet type, having more than one residence and several vehicles; the system could be expanded to cover the suppliers of goods to the various departments, corporations and other institutions under a minister/ministry, to chip in to meet these costs.

One such area is the supply of drugs to the hospitals in the country – drugs that must have the official approval. How wonderful it would be to see the importers of drugs calling for tenders or carrying out some other bidding process to decide on who would get the chance to lease out a second residence, or the second, third or fourth vehicles of a minister, and not too far down the line for the spouse of the minister too. Of course, there will be some ministers who will ask that a person who is not one’s spouse, but very close to him or her, should also be considered for such ministerial benefits, and who would refuse that, when it is the stuff of good governance today.

What the former Finance Minister has shown is a huge gift to the nation. It flows from all those millions that may have gone to the wrong persons, places, pockets or banks, from the Central Bank Bonds. Never before has any Cabinet Minister shown the country such a way of saving valuable Treasury funds, other than this Perpetual Beneficiary Minister.

With so much money being saved through this Perpetual Leasing Gambit, there is no need for those in lesser ministerial ranks to be worried out their own facilities, homes, and vehicles etc. This system could very easily be extended to the State and Deputy types too. But the size of the lease will depend on how much the lease-payers benefit from their work. It looks like this will also depend on the business or capital success of the Cabinet Minister they serve under. It is all part of a crooked political – business connection.

We have gone beyond the threshold of a Perpetual Luxury Bargain for Cabinet Ministers. It stands out as a great national promise to all politicians who will hold office. This is the Perpetual Penthouse Delight.

2 Responses to “The Perpetual Penthouse Delight”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Another classic gem from Lucien Rajakarunanayake! One easy way to get out of the debt crisis or at least meet the expenses of the Ministers Satisfying Department.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Just what we needed: A FREE BRIBERY ECONOMY!

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