Late Demands

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce wants a pre-election budgetary position made public, before the Presidential election. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce wants a pre-election budgetary position made public, before the Presidential election. Sri Lanka’s leading trade chamber wants the government to amend the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, to allow a pre-election fiscal report before a Presidential election.

At the moment the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act mandates that a pre-election budgetary position be announced only before a general election.

The Ministry of Finance must release a pre-election budgetary position report, containing information on the fiscal position of the country, within three weeks of the official announcement of a general election.

The chamber wants Presidential elections treated in the same way.

The chamber also says presenting the budget before the Presidential election is over, is impractical, because Presidential candidates’ manifestos are not aligned to any national budget.

“The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce considers the presentation of the budget immediately prior to the Presidential elections as inappropriate,” said a statement from the Chamber on Monday.

“Presidential Candidates, who prepared their manifestos independent of the government budgetary process, would require manoeuvrability for their implementation,” said the Chamber.

Sri Lanka’s Presidential election is due on November 17 but the 2006 budget is to be presented in Parliament on November 8.

-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.com