Budget flawed, no confidence motion against Fin Min: Balasuriya

Tharaka Balasuriya

Nov 26, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s budget for 2016 proposed by the government is flawed and a no confidence motion will be brought against the finance minister, opposition member of Parliament Tharaka Balasuriya said.

Among areas of concern include liberalization of tea imports, absence of support for rubber planters, the proposed merger of ETF and EPF, investment of EPF and ETF funds in a ‘fund of funds’ for venture capitalism, Balasuriya said in Parliament.

The granting of the license to 50 licensees for the importation of gold is another issue, he said.

“Now not only will this policy distort the level playing field but you can smell money a million miles away regarding this matter,” Balasuriya said.

The government announced it would raise revenue through direct taxes, but this budget does exactly the opposite, Balasuriya said, adding a 38 percent target for revenue growth is overly ambitious.

“It (this budget) will not only tear down the fabric of this society and it will also fail in its attempts to either deliver on the promises to its people or either to carry out the stringent austerity measure IMF and other international agencies that are calling upon,” he said.

After his speech in Parliament Balasuriya confirmed that a no-confidence motion would be brought, while opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane said on Tuesday that a no-confidence motion against the finance minister will be handed over to the speaker on Thursday.