Budget 2015 - Views of politicians:
A clear reflection of intelligence and of the heart - Minister Wimal
A cross section of the Government Ministers interviewed by the Sunday
Observer described the Budget 2015 presented by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa as a people-friendly and development-oriented budget which has
provided relief to almost all segments of society.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa having a tete-a-tete with Finance
Ministry Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera after the Budget
presentation. Pic: Sulochana Gamage
They said the Budget 2015 is a clear reflection of what the country
has achieved over the past nine years and it it has paved the way for a
Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne said the budget has covered all
important areas. The budget has also been formulated according to the
sentiments of those who express different views and resort to trade
union actions demanding various things.
When the budget was being formulated, views were obtained from
Pradeshiya Sabha members up to Parliamentarians and Ministers.
The views of Ministry officials were also obtained. I think this
budget would have great impact on ordinary people and the middle class
and it would also help improve the 's economy.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said during the five
years after the dawn of peace, the Government has laid the basic
foundation to develop the infrastructure facilities so that the people
systematically get relief.
This is a country that we won and today safeguard with the joint
dedication of ordinary people, working class, farmers, fishermen,
teachers and other Government officials.
Today, we are reaping the benefits of the significant victory that we
achieved. This budget is a clear reflection on what we have achieved
over the past nine years.
But we have to move forward. The budget have paved the way for us a
brighter future. If the Opposition thinks this is an election-oriented
budget, we will let them to think so. At present the Opposition has
nothing to say before the people. Actually this is a victory achieved by
the country's people due to the sacrifice made by them over the past
Now the people are enjoying the dividends of peace and development.
Today, it has reached to level of getting relief. In future, the
Government would provide more relief measures to the people.
Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities
Minister Wimal Weerawansa said Budget 2015 presented by the President is
a clear reflection of intelligence and from the bottom of his heart.
We call this as a budget managed by the heart because it has laid
emphasis even on differently able child, innocent low income families
and elderly people in the country. The budget has taken new initiatives
on behalf of their welfare.
The intelligence aspect of the budget is that it has given massive
incentives to the country's industries and production sector, private
sector, investors and entrepreneurs.
I think after gained sustainable peace, the journey took forward by
the Government over the past five years to develop the infrastructure
facilities was turned into a more people's friendly atmosphere through
This budget has laid the basic foundation to commence a new economic
chapter on country's economy and the people. Looking at our history,
most of the budgets have not given so many victories to the people.
Every Government in power makes more favourable changes by looking at an
important occasion. That is not an offense.
That is what has happened during our entire history. Regardless of
the occasion, a Government and a President should have a heart and
intelligence to present this kind of progressive budget proposals by
covering the entire people in the country expecting a new forward march
of the economy.
The Opposition will say this a budget given targeting a snap
election. Even for an election, who else can present this kind of
budget? Those who are going to be defeated cannot present this kind of a
The Opposition will say that this is an election-oriented budget as
they have nothing to say about it.
Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the allegation
leveled against the Government was that if the war against terrorists
was ended, its dividends have not been given to the people.
The Budget 2015 under a long term program has given all those
benefits to the people.
The budget could also minimise a large number of frauds and
malpractices in public institutions over the past few years and turn
most of the loss making institutions into profit making status. This
budget has given the benefits of those changes made to the public.
Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his tenth Budget has presented the
highest number people-friendly budget proposals. It reflects all key
areas such as welfare, production and public sector. Specially the
salaries of public servants and pensioners have also been increased. The
request made by pensioners to bring their pension equal level to the
present pension has also been fulfilled by the budget. In addition, the
budget has given incentives to each and every sector.
Highways, Ports and Shipping Projects Minister Rohitha
Abeygunawardana said only the UNP is dissatisfied from this budget
because they will not be able to go before their members at village
This is not a budget presented targeting only year 2015. The budget
2015 sets out ten year plan brought forward by the President after
restored peace and commenced development within the country. This budget
was presented to the country by a people's friendly Government and a
Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha said
most of the Opposition members questioned what are the dividends given
to the ordinary people after ending the war against terrorists. We can
say these are some of the dividends that we are giving to the ordinary
people. There are three main objectives in this budget.
One is to take policy decisions such as to do away all the anomalies
of the public servants and pensioners. Actually they asked to adjust it
with 2006 salary structure. But it has gone beyond that and adjust in
accordance with 2015 new salary structure.
Hereafter, there won't be any anomaly between the pensioners and
public servants. In addition to that, there are so many policy decisions
stated in President's budget speech. If we take number two aspect,
budget is focused towards country's development.
So many investments are encouraged like small, medium and large scale
enterprises. Some tax concessions have also been given to the private
sector. Thirdly the budget has given relief to the ordinary people such
as pensioners, Samurdhi recipients and senior citizens so that this is a
people's friendly budget.
National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva
Nanayakkara said budget 2015 is a practical program to give total
welfare together with total development.
This is an unprecedented budget and, therefore, I believe there will
be a huge response from the people from tomorrow to find out what
exactly are each one’s share of this budget dividends. There will be a
strong wave of enthusiasm around the budget.
UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said a proposal has been made to give an
allowance to pre-school teachers. But the Government has forgotten
pre-school assistants. There is a pre-school assistant in each
Rs. 750 million has been allocated for a special development program
for the fisher community. But there are one million fishers community
members. Then each family will receive only Rs. 750 for the whole year.
In addition, Rs.2,000 million has been reserved to develop the minor
irrigation sector. There are nearly 25,000 minor irrigation schemes in
Sri Lanka so that only Rs.80,000 will be allocated to develop one minor
irrigation scheme. When looking at these statistics, I see this budget
as a false budget.
UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said at the end of the day, if you look at
what has been allocated, you see the allocations don't compare with what
has been permitted. The President in his Budget speech said the minimum
salary of a public servant will go up to Rs.25,000. If a public servant
gets Rs.11,730 minimum salary, he has been given 15 percent and another
5 percent allowance. If we add those two, he gets only Rs.14, 220.
Because the minimum allowance of 5 percent is subjected to Rs.750
minimum. Then Rs.14,220 goes up to Rs.15,000. Therefore, this is a
fraudulent budget and we are not going to support to it.
DNA MP Vijitha Herath said the Government has distributed some
toffees and chocolates to the people.
As claimed by the Government all the allowances given to the public
servants have not been added to their basic salary. It is an utter lie.
All the allowances given to public servants amounts to Rs.10,146.
What the public servants requested was to add this Rs.10,146 into their
basic salary. The Government has increased the salaries of the public
servants only by Rs.3,270. The Government has not fulfilled the calls
made by the public servants.