Mixed reactions to : Budget 2016
Government legislators said the Budget would go down in the annals of
history as a significant Budget presented by the first national
government in post- independent Sri Lanka to herald a new beginning for
the country and to create a new economic and social order for the
people. However, some Opposition MPs said the Budget was a reflection of
the government's inability to charter the economy in a new course and
expressed their opposition.
UPFA Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena
The objective of the Budget is towards a market economy. It has
opened major resources towards this without state intervention and
restrictions. The Budget has opened avenues for foreign investors to
acquire land without paying tax. When laws are imposed in the future,
labour laws and the security of workers will be restricted while the
capital market will flow. This would provide the opportunity for the
free flow of foreign capital.
The government hopes to attract more
foreign investors to increase production and income, while generating
new employment opportunities. The Budget is based on speculation. To me
the Budget is a gimmick and has failed to fulfill any of the pledges
given last year.
Greek to us
Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda
The Budget was 'Greek' to us. We couldn't understand anything what he
said in the Budget speech. The Budget proposes to develop 2000 villages
spending Rs.1500 million for each village. This has raised serious
doubts as to how the government will raise funds for this purpose. We
call upon the government to do something innovative without criticising
the previous government
A positive one
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr.Harsha de
After a long time, there has been a complete change in presenting a
Budget. The Budget is a positive one. There is a structural change in
the presentation. It has taken into account the game-plan and gives
necessary legislative and regulatory framework to implement the vision.
We believe there needs to be structural change in the distribution of
subsidies. Take the implementation of the fertiliser subsidy and school
uniforms there is so much of waste and corruption. Now to minimise
corruption , the subsidy has been transferred into cash transfers.
Instead of providing school uniform material, vouchers will be provided
to purchase uniforms. Parents could then buy the best clothes.
Farmers will be given cash to buy fertiliser from the market. If
prices increase, we will provide the increase and vice versa. At the end
of the day, the farmer will purchase what is best for him. This is the
change that was expected for a long time. The Budget was a knowledge-
based and suited ideally into a competitive social market economy. The
Opposition can say what it wants but they must understand that it is the
market mechanism that works. There is no time for us to waste and
private participation in the economy was vital, he said..
Economic plan to destroy country
JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara
This is a plan launched to destroy the economy. It has been proved
that the economic plan over the past 30 years was unsuccessful. This
economic strategy will not take the country forward. Our land will be
opened to foreigners. Proposals are underfoot to turn Education into a
market product and sell it later. The pension benefit of those recruited
to the state service from January 1 next year has been canceled.
The Budget has curtailed welfare measures of the public. It is a
reflection of the government's inability to steer the economy in the
right direction. It is just another repetition of the disastrous economy
policies implemented in our country over the past few decades. We
express our opposition to this economic strategy adopted and this budget
should be defeated.
A fairy tale
Colombo District UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila:
This Budget is a fairy tale, is far away from reality. The Finance
Minister proposed to allocate Rs.1500 million for each Grama Niladari
division. There are 14,200 Grama Niladari divisions in the country. Then
they have to allocate, Rs.22 trillion only for this project. The
government's income for 2016 is only Rs.2 trillion. This shows the
Finance Minister has not done his home work. He doesn't have the ability
to do even a simple calculation. How can he manage this huge budget? As
expected, he failed to grant a salary increase to public servants and
even give the Rs.3500 pay hike proposed by our government in the last
The government is to privatise Expressways built by the former
government to generate income as they are so bankrupt! We thought they
would have an innovative solution for health and environmental issues
caused by the excessive use of chemical fertiliser.
Their solution is building 'Green' hospitals and cancer hospitals
allocating Rs.5 billion. The government is not going to do anything for
prevention of illnesses but to accommodate more patients. If this is the
government's formula to solve problems, the country is heading for
disaster. We are ready to come out with the people to arrest this
Highest allocation for Education
Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam:
This would go down in history for the allocation of Rs. 90 billion
for Education- the highest allocation made by a government. It has been
formulated by identifying priorities. Prices of essential food items
have been reduced. It is formulated with a broad economic vision
targeting investments and curtailed unnecessary expenditures.
Rural housing to benefit
Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa:
A huge sum has been reserved to construct rural housing schemes. It
has also given an impetus of achieving the Premier's target of
constructing 500,000 houses for middle income families.
sector has been given an unprecedented amount. This would immensely help
to upgrade the facilities in underdeveloped schools.The overall aspect
Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga:
This is a Budget for the people. A large amount of money has been
invested on education and development. Prices of some essential
commodities have been reduced. This is a people-friendly budget with
concessions given to the people, while allocating a colossal amount for
Deputy Minister of State Enterprise Development Eran
This is a development- oriented budget. It is not about giving relief
for today. It is for tomorrow and in the medium term. Huge amounts of
money have been allocated for Education. Provisions have been made to
improve education in schools, provide training to teachers and for IT
education , English and Science. New universities on IT and Management
will be set up.
The investment on expenditure of other universities have also been
increased by nearly 30 percent. There is a medium term development focus
in this budget.
Does not solve local's problems
Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance MP:
Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance MP noted that while the
government has created a climate to welcome foreign investors but, the
apprehensions of locals especially those in the North and East remains
"If the government intends on increasing foreign investment, they
should ensure political stability," he said. "We are at a juncture where
the government is constantly swayed by opinions of extremists groups
trying to create a rift, so as long as this prevails, foreign investors
will be reluctant to invest."
Premachandra noted that the budget proposals makes no mention of
programs to uplift livelihoods of widows in the North and East. " There
are 45 000 widows with children who are breadwinners of families and
unemployed. Another 10 000 rehabilitated LTTE cadres are there who need
to be integrated into society. The Budget does not mention anything
about either of the two groups."
He lamented the unemployment rate in the North and East is at an all
time high and thegovernment does not seem interested to solve the
Benefits ordinary man
Deputy Minister of Provincial Councils and Local
Government Karunarathne Paranavithana:
This is a very fruitful budget and its outcome would be successful.
It benefits the ordinary man. This is a historic Budget when budgetary
allocations for education, local government and the rural economic
sectors are considered.
Not for short-term political advantage
State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene:
The budget 2016 has not been presented expecting mere short term
political advantages. As we witnessed, former UPFA government always
presented their budgets as short term political programs. But the budget
2016 has laid a solid basis to move the country towards proper direction
and expedite the development while providing concessions to the people.
The budget has also laid key emphasis to provide required facilities and
due recognition to our war heroes. The budget has also made sufficient
allocations to further strengthened the country's national security.