Speculation is rife in political circles that SLPP strongman Basil Rajapaksa will be appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Development after he takes oaths as a National List MP on July 6.
Rajapaksa, who returned to Sri Lanka on Thursday after a stay in the US for more than a month, is expected to take his oaths as a Cabinet Minister before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the same day he is sworn in as a Member of Parliament, political sources said.
SLPP National List member Ranjith Bandara is expected to resign to make way for Rajapaksa to enter Parliament.
After he is appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Development, he is expected to announce the reduction of the price of petrol by five to seven rupees per litre and diesel by three to five rupees per litre, the sources indicated.
At present, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa holds the Finance Minister portfolio.
There is also the possibility of Basil Rajapaksa taking over only as Economic Development Minister, while the premier will continue to retain the Finance portfolio, one source said.
“Anyway, there’s no finality yet as discussions are ongoing”.
Basil Rajapaksa served as the Minister of Economic Development in the 2010-15 Mahinda Rajapaksa government.
(Source: The Island – By Suresh Perera)