Hard Talk

ldblquote It is vital that fiscal programme remains on track to ensure that the overall budget target of 8.5 percent of GDP is not exceeded, while protecting pro-poor spending,
dblquote IMF
quote s Deputy Division Chief (Asian & Pacific Dept.) Jeremy Carter said addressing delegates at the Sri Lanka Development Forum today.

rnrnCarter urged the government to implement the new Value Added Tax as scheduled and resist pressures to grant further tax concessions.

rnrnMaintaining the prudent wage policy set out in the Budget 2002, Carter said action should be taken to remove open-ended subsidies and transfers to public institutions and curb defence spending.

rnrnldblquote Improve targeting of Samurdhi social safety net programme and ensure that health and education spending is maintained at the budget levels,
dblquote he said.

rnrnOver the medium term, fiscal consolidation needs to be accelerated to help maintain a low inflation environment and foster private sector growth.

rnrnHigher growth and reduc