POSTED AT 05:22 AM 10-11-2017
Opposition Leader hails Budget 2018
Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan commended the Budget stating that it included proposals beneficial to all people including the Tamils, while TNA MP Sumanthiran speaking on the same line said their proposals too have been accommodated in the Budget. They stressed the need to implement the budgetary proposals in full.
The maiden Budget speech of Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera was commended by many Parliamentarians in the Government benches as encouraging and forward looking, while the Joint Opposition and JVP members hardly had any positive comments to make to the media on the Budget 2018.
The Parliamentarians when they left the chamber after listening to two and half hours long Budget speech, expressed mixed feelings over the budgetary proposals for next year. Many Parliamentarians, however, praised the move to reduce the prices of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Leader of the House and Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella congratulated Minister Samaraweera for presenting a progressive and well-planned Budget despite the country being riddled with a massive debt burden.
Chief Government Whip and Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilake was confident that the maiden Budget of Minister Samaraweera would usher in a good future to the country.
SLFP General Secretary and Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake said the Budget would lay a solid foundation to the country’s economy. He added that the Budget that encompasses the proposals two major parties gives a hope for a better future.
UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries and State Minister of Mahaweli Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera speaking on the same page with Duminda Dissanayake said the Budget has also proposed a host of relief measures and concessions to the needy sectors. He highlighted the special measures taken by the Government to bring down the Cost of Living of the people.
Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said the Budget that concentrates on Green Economy has taken special interest on conserving the environment and preventing environmental pollution. He commended the tax reduction of small cars and the incentives given to young entrepreneurs.
Policy Planning and Economic Development Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the Budget 2018 would drive the country towards a knowledge based highly competitive social market economy.
Chief Opposition Whip Anura Dissanayake objected to the Budget on the grounds that it follows the principles of open economy that have been proven unsuccessful. He said the Government would further burden the already debt-ridden economy with more loans.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa termed the Budget as useless stating that most of the budgetary proposals of the previous year are also yet to be implemented. “These proposals look good for the paper, but they are hardly implemented in reality,” he commented.
Camelia Nathaniel and Disna Mudalige