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The Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told Lanka Business Report (LBR) that he is counting on the rural sector to contribute to productivity improvement and help drive economic growth. The Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told Lanka Business Report (LBR) that he is counting on the rural sector to contribute to productivity improvement and help drive economic growth. He said there were no short cuts to overcome the current exchange rate and balance of payment problems, but the country had to export more and curb unnecessary imports.

LBR: What will the government do through the budget to tackle the problem of rising inflation?

Finance Minister: Inflation is relative and depends on our Balance of Payment position and when it declines it leads to inflation where we have to pay more. The drought also contributes to that while the wage increases also account for the inflation. The only real answer is to increase the production. We are proposing several decisive measures to increase productivity.

LBR: What is the deficit target you are aiming at for next year?
FM: The deficit, before we bring foreign donor amounts, will be Rs. 180 bill