Written by Lahiru Fernando
23 Nov, 2015 | 9:32 pm
The debate on the Second Reading of the 2016 budget was taken up for the second day on Monday, November 23.
Prior to the commencement of the debate, Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena pointed out a discrepancy, in that two copies of the 2016 budget proposal had been presented to MPs.
At this instance, a heated argument broke out within the chamber, forcing the Speaker to adjourn parliament for ten minutes.
UPFA Parliamentarian, Dinesh Gunawardena stated:
It is the responsibility of the Finance Minister to explain the difference between the book which was presented, and the book presented today.
JVP Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake speaking on the issue said:
The budget proposal was read out like a Montessori child who reads a book in the seventh grade.
Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake stated:
This book was been printed till 11.30 a.m. but at 5.30 a.m. one of the machines had malfunctioned resulting in the three entangled pages.
He went on to note that the secretary was informed that this error was caused to around 50 books. Explaining further, he stated that therefore he asked that a new book be printed.
Because there was printing errors between pages 116 and 121 the new book was presented and there weren’t any changes made.
Further, he stated that the this was a mistake done by the Finance Ministry and not the Chief Whip, nor the Parliament. As a result, the new book was presented to distribute a complete document to the house.
UPFA Parliamentarian, Bandula Gunawardena stated that over the past few days all of them said that this budget would allocate the largest sum of money for the development of the education sector in the history of our country.
He added that the services sector in recurrent expenditure has been increased. What was told was 121 billion rupees was spent for education. However not a single estimate specifies as to how this 121 billion is being spent.
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