Urgent and credible  economic reforms needed - Leader of the House

Leader of the House and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said in Parliament yesterday stressed that the country should carry out urgent and credible economic reforms to create a stable environment to emerge from one of the worst economic crises in its history.

Joining the debate on the Interim Budget in Parliament, Minister Premajayantha said the first part of the Budget speech is focused on policy issues and all economic facts have been mentioned in this interim budget.

The Minister urged the members of the opposition to propose alternatives to the decision to seek IMF support, rather than just opposing.

He further said that Sri Lanka has engaged in 16 IMF programmes since obtaining membership of the IMF in 1950. Sri Sri Lanka’s first IMF programme was in 1965 and the last was in 2016.

“During a Budget debate, we should discuss the real issues faced by the public rather than just talking about popular topics,”he said.

The Minister stressed the importance of credit management. “There are 109 departments which do not generate a single cent. These departments are the service providers and we cannot apply business models to them,” the Minister said.


Interim Budget presented at most difficult time - Aluthgamage

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Kandy District Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday said in Parliament that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had to present the Interim Budget at the most difficult time.

Joining the debate on Interim Budget 2022, MP Aluthgamage said that five State-run institutions are currently experiencing a loss of Rs.323 billion. Can the Government run such institutions? Therefore, decisions have to be made regarding these institutions.

“If the three institutions - Customs, Excise and Local Revenue - are properly managed, we do not need to go to the IMF. Everyone above 18 years of age is asked to open the tax file. That’s a good suggestion.” he said.

Subject all public institutions to Management Audit. - Patali

Colombo District Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawakayesterday said in Parliament that the privatization of public institutions will not solve everything.

Joining the debate on the Interim Budget he emphasized that all public institutions should be subject to a Management Audit. He also explained the importance of working under the policy of ‘one institution for one job’, pointing out that it can reduce the number of Government institutions in the country to about two third.

MP Ranawaka, who commented on the implementation of the proposals made by the President’s budget to reduce the cost of the public sector and increase efficiency; proposed over a thousand Government agencies should undergo a Management Audit and there should be a process of evaluating institutions.

He further said that there is a need to personally audit the work of the department heads. Enhance the technical efficiency and the introduction of new income generation sources

He also presented his suggestions regarding increasing the technical efficiency of Government institutions and the identification of new sources of income.

Formalize tax collection  process - Minister Pathirana

The Interim Budget presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a very difficult time may not be a popular one, but there are many reforms that need to be carried out in order for the country to emerge from the worst economic crises, said Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana joining the debate on the Interim Budget in Parliament yesterday.

“Reluctantly, the Government has had to present a Budget that includes tax amendments etc. We are currently having a problem with the rupee as well as the dollar. In terms of tax revenue, we get a small tax revenue. The number of taxpayers is also less. It has been suggested in the Budget that a tax file should be opened for everyone above 18 years of age. But it is a complicated process. Tax collection process should be formalized. Also, taxes should be collected from those who can collect taxes so that the people are not oppressed,” the Minister said.

He further said that the Customs, Inland Revenue Department, Excise Department, etc., can collect more tax revenue if the tax collection process is carried out properly.

“Even Though the government has banned the importation of certain luxurious products, most of them are available in certain supermarkets. Those who can afford it don’t mind having such items. But those goods are available in the super markets in a situation where the import of those goods is prohibited. The government has decided to ban such goods to solve the dollar problem.” he alleged.

Necessary concessions are given to garment factories. After Late President Ranasinghe Premadasa developed the garment industry in this country, our factories have not expanded.

The few old factories that exist are the ones that get the dollar income and there are many industries such as the boat industry, computer industry that can be developed.


Govt. should encourage more  local industries - Wimal

The Government should focus more on encouraging local industries rather than selling Government institutes in order to come out of the economic crisis, MP Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday (31).

Joining the debate on the Interim Budget, MP Weerawansa noted that selling Government institutions will not help rejuvenate the country’s economy.

Weerawansa noted that along with the dollar crisis, a space for local manufacturing was created. The Government should address this space and develop a pro-industry plan, Weerawansa pointed out.

“The Lotteries Board imported paper to print lotteries. Now the Valachchenai factory produces quality paper for the Board. These days they are trying to make papers to print the newspapers.

I appointed a qualified Chairman to the factory. Now more than 100 employees work there. In 2020 it manufactured 82 MT papers making an income of Rs. 8.5 Million. In 2021, it manufactured 1153 MT papers and made an income of Rs. 125 Million. In 2022, it manufactured 1018 Million papers and earned Rs. 213 Million. The total income it has recorded during these years is Rs. 346 Million,” Weerawansa pointed out.







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