Amendments to the budget effect govt. revenue by Rs 7 billion

Ravi Karunanayake

The amendments proposed to the Budget 2016 by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will result in a Rs. 7 billion impact on the Government revenue, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake informed Parliament.

The minister added he would brief the House as to how this income would be recovered when the Budget concludes on December 19. The minister was responding to a supplementary question by UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena.

The minister noted the allocations for development purposes or relief measures would not be curtailed to facilitate additional allocations required for the proposed amendments.

“The Budget is not something ingrained on stone. What the Prime Minister was flexible enough to incorporate the proposals of various segments in the society. Various proposals come in the Committee Stage of the Budget and we need to consider them. Even if you make constructive proposals that benefit the country which are not extreme, we are ready to accommodate them as well” he replied.

The minister said the Prime Minister had made 4 proposals while President Maithripala Sirisena made a proposal with regard to excise tax. “The President’s proposal actually increases the revenue by Rs 250 million. If the GMOA insists on the car permit, what we will have to be provided through the allocation made to the Health Ministry” he said.

MP Gunawardena asked the minister to submit a report to Parliament clarifying how the Government is going to revise the budgetary allocations to accommodate the amendments proposed by the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile the Finance Minister replying to another supplementary question by MP Gunawardena stated the Government is not dictated by the IMF policy, but it follows what it thinks best for the people of the country.

“At the same time we must be sensitive to external threats as ISIS too. I am confident that dollars will flow in to the country after the Budget. There is no issue with the balance of payment. The issue is with the trade deficit. To control it we need to take effective steps to reduce the imports and increase the exports” he added.

(Source: Daily News – By Irangika Range Ishara Mudugamuwa and Disna Mudalige)