Written by Staff Writer
06 Mar, 2019 | 10:10 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The second reading of the budget commenced today (March 6). The debate was initiated by UPFA Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena. Speaking at the Parliament today he noted that the budget has mis-led the International Monetary Fund.
He said that he can prove the fact presented saying there is excess as a lie because there are Rs 90 billion worth bills the Ministry of Finance has not settled as of December 31st. He added that Rs.25 billion has not been paid to senior citizens. MP Gunawardena requested them to prove if they can, that there were no bills worth Rs 90 billion as of December 31st.
MP Gunawardene noted that the total tax revenue was Rs. 1 trillion during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time, but this government has a tax revenue of Rs. 2 trillion. He said during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time, for a period of 10 years, the debt amount increased by Rs. 5 trillion but this government’s debt increased by Rs. 5 trillion in 4 years.
The parliamentarian noted that the IMF had said that this is a disastrous economy. The country lost the potential of the agricultural and the small and medium enterprises sector. He pointed out that the people are finding it difficult to tolerate the debt burden as the cost of living is also too high. Like the government has lost everything, Mangala Samaraweera cannot recover from this situation even with the help of the IMF.
Non-Cabinet Minister Harsha De Silva responding to this noted that there is no problem if a government comes into power through an election and in a democratic manner unlike attempts to take over a government by using knives or throwing chairs. He noted that it was with great difficulty they maintained the ratings of Moody’s at B1, S&P B+ and B+ from Fitch ratings and few days after the coup, all three rating organizations degraded Sri Lanka.
“MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, you leave when we speak about you as you don’t have the strength to listen to us, because of this we are disappointed,” said minister de Silva.
Harsha de Silva pointed out that US$ 893.6 million left the country in one whole year. It was during their coup in October and November, that US$ 487 million left the country. He asked MP Bandula Gunawardene not to lie.
Responding to this MP Gunawardene noted that he clearly states that they have lied about an excess to mislead the IMF.
Non-cabinet Minister Harsha De Silva noted that during their (MR) time in 2004, the primary accounts did not have excess and it was a deficit of Rs. 155 billion. He pointed out that in 2015 the deficit of the primary accounts is Rs. 302 billion and it was in 2017, about 5 years later the primary accounts recorded an excess of Rs 2 billion.
Harsha De Silva noted that there was an excess of Rs 91 billion in 2018 and their main objective is to create a knowledge-based market economy without re-orienting their set of skills. They cannot come out of the middle-income level. He noted that if they invested about Rs. 10 million for something new, the public do not have to pay a single cent as taxes until they earn a profit of Rs. 20 million from the money invested.
Harsha de Silva noted that this is the kind of encouragement this government provides.
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