Handunnetti sees good budget proposals finally, but says govt living way beyond its means

Sunil Handunnetti

The ‘Budget 2019’ was different in structure to those presented by the UNP in the past and it had looked into areas which were often neglected, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said.

Joining the budget debate on the opening day, Handunnetti, however, pointed out that the feeble economic condition of the country made most of the budgetary proposals unrealistic though they had some progressive features.

Calling them “dream proposals” and questioned how the government which had a negative balance in the Consolidated Fund could afford to implement them.

“According to the Fiscal Management Report, the Government’s starting balance as at January 1, 2018 was negative Rs.186.2 billion and this further deteriorated to a negative balance of Rs 225.3 billion by November 30, 2018. According to the 2017 Finance Ministry report the Consolidated Fund had a negative balance of Rs 285 billion. The Budget should have been made keeping this ground reality in mind.”

The MP said that the proposal to add another 600,000 to the list of Samurdhi beneficiaries showed that the poverty eradication programme of all the successive governments since independence had been a failure. “We already have 1.5 million Samurdhi recipients. The minister in his Budget speech said 260,000 families did not have toilet facilities. This shows the failure of capitalist economic policy pursued by successive governments.”

(Source:The Island – By Saman Indrajith)