Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 26 October 2014





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Budget 2015 - Views of politicians:

A clear reflection of intelligence and of the heart - Minister Wimal Weerawansa

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 bright future

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 nine years.

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.

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 budget.

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 level.

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 Leader.

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 pre-school.

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.

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