JVP slams Budget 2012

Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Chamitha Kuruppu

Charging that Budget 2012 is just another numbers gimmick, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) points out that the Rajapaksa administration is pushing the country towards economic peril.

Addressing a media briefing, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva yesterday claimed that it was pointless to present a new budget without fulfilling the promises of the previous one.

“This is a trap. By increasing total borrowings this Government is putting the country in danger. Although the total expenditure has increased, there is no speculation about revenue to cover that expenditure. The situation will only result in a huge budget deficit, which will definitely have a negative impact on the country’s economy,” noted Silva.

According to him, the priority of the Government in the budget should be to increase salaries of both public and private sector workers and enhance education and health sector facilities. He claimed that without further burdening the people by increasing borrowings, the Government should focus on improving their living conditions.

“Just as they did last time, this year too the Government has increased the spending on defence. Without a war, why do they need to allocate such a massive amount of money on defence?” asked Silva.

Although the Government allocated Rs. 33,000 million in Budget 2011 to increase salaries and rectify salary anomalies, there were continuous struggles by the workers demanding pay hikes and similar demands, asserted Silva.

He further pointed out that despite Rs. 200 million being estimated for the Government’s ‘Mathata Thitha’ programme, liquor consumption in the country has increased and more licenses have been issued to sell liquor.

Silva raised questions about the Rs. 200 million allocated to improve pre schools in rural areas, claiming that no measures have been taken so far to initiate such projects. The last budget estimated Rs. 50 million to provide computers to journalists and another Rs. 50 million was allocated to expedite pending cases in courts – these were mere promises of the Government, he charged.

“Without fulfilling the promises of the last budget, we don’t see a point in presenting a new budget for 2012. This Government is only interested in burdening the people with increasing borrowing and imposing taxes. The country is heading towards an economic crisis. This budget is going to worsen the situation,” he asserted.

The party is organising a rally on 24 October in Fort against Budget 2012 and the Government’s failure to fulfil the promises of the previous budget. The JVP is also demanding a 40% salary increment for private sector workers and a Rs. 10,000 pay hike for public sector employees.

JVP Parliamentarians Vijitha Herath and Sunil Handunnetti were also present at the media briefing.