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Budget bungled?


Comments / 1756 Views / Wednesday, 23 November 2016 01:07


  • Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance Chief says Ravi K’s numbers don’t tally

Committee on Public Finance Chairman and Opposition lawmaker M. A. Sumanthiran yesterday charged in Parliament that the 2017 Budget presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake didn’t tally with the actual figures by which the Ministry was working on.

Sumanthiran, tabling the report on ‘Assessment of the Fiscal, Financial and Economic Assumptions of the Budget 2017” prepared within four days by a panel of experts and economists, recommended moving the actual numbers with immediate effect.untitled-1

 “We were given a set of figures on 2 November, which later turned out not to be the basis on which the Minister of Finance presented his budget. Thereafter, on 12 of November, another set of figures were given to us and we have now based our report on that new set of figures. We have recommended that the Government distributes to members of Parliament the second set of figures from 12 November, at least during the Committee Stage debate,” explained MP Sumanthiran.

According to MP Sumanthiran, the fiscal assessment of the Budget 2017 is the first report presented by the current committee. “Although the committee worked without a parliamentary budget office this year, we are indebted to the service rendered to us by a few individuals including Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike, Rose Cooray, Themiya Hurulle, Sarath Mayadunne and a team of economists working through Verite Research, including Dr. Nishan de Mel, who gave invaluable input and assistance without any remuneration,” said Sumanthiran.

The Committee on Public Finance was established by a resolution passed in Parliament on 19 December 2015 with a broad mandate to examine the public funds, revenue and debt. The committee is mandated to present a report within six weeks of the tabling of budget estimates. (AH)

 


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