Govt. lost Rs. 1,600Bn during pandemic: Basil

Govt. lost Rs. 1,600Bn during pandemic: Basil

Govt. lost Rs. 1,600Bn during pandemic: Basil

Written by Amani Nilar

07 Sep, 2021 | 6:01 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa states that the Government has lost Rs. 1,500-1,600 billion due to the pandemic, and the gap between Government expenditure and revenue has widened.

The Minister said this at the Parliament during the second reading of the Finance Bill today (7).

The Finance Minister admitted that the government has unnecessary expenses as well as, waste and corruption.

The country is facing a severe foreign exchange crisis while the funds of the Treasury have also reduced, however, the Opposition should assist the Government to solve this issue, he added.

He also said that the earnings of the country’s main sources of income, the Inland Revenue Department, the Sri Lanka Customs, and the Excise Department, have fallen sharply due to the country being on lockdown.

The Tourism Industry, which was also affected during the time, has also contributed to this decline, the Finance Minister said.

Rajapaksa further stated that indirect tax revenue from VAT had fallen by 75-80%  due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the largest portion of Government income was from migrant workers during the last year, however, that amount has been on the decline within the last three months.

However, the Government is currently in discussions with the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank to find a solution to the economic crisis, he added.

The Finance Minister said the government strives to become a debt-free country.

The policy of the government is to secure aid that will not be subject to political conditions and will not threaten the sovereignty of the country, he said.

 

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