The previous Government spent Rs. 280 billion for various purposes without Cabinet approval, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, participating in the debate on six financial resolutions moved by him in Parliament recently.
He pointed that this staggering amount would ultimately turn into a burden on the general public.
“These are financial crimes by the previous Government. The current budget deficit is what we inherited from the previous regime. That is why Opposition MPs deliberately avoided the debate. When we are trying to raise the Government’s income by newly-imposed taxes, some have gone to the Supreme Court and obtained injunctions. This has blocked our path. We have already disbursed money for relief measures and salary increments. I do not understand why the Supreme Court is taking a stance like this,” he stated.
.The Minister said the Government was keen on recovering deprived tax income from various sources over the past 10 years.
“The monthly income from the Excise Department in November 2014 was Rs. 2,900 million. Now this income had gone up to Rs. 9,000 million per month. The question we have to raise is, what happened to the balance Rs. 6,100 million received every month over the past 10 years? Some involved in ethanol trafficking have even threatened the Customs and Excise officials.”
Karunanayake also criticised the Attorney General’s stance over Avant Garde and KP’s cases.