By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
President of the National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP), Ranjith Withanage said Budget 2019 was a ‘special arrack budget’ that did not bring relief to any of the difficulties faced by the common man.
“The budget has provided relief to a bottle of special arrack taking it to be the only issue faced by people. Nothing has been mentioned as relief for special commodities. The budget has forgotten that people consume rice, onions, potatoes and dhal in their day-to-day lives,” he said.
On a different note, he said the government had also considered expressways as a grave problem and decided to increase its toll by Rs.100 during peak hours. This would be effective from April 1 onwards, he said.
“People often use expressways for travel convenience. Once the toll increases, commuters might not use expressways at all. Also, the taxes levied on small cars and trishaws have been increased. How can this be a budget proposal? No relief has been granted for publication. The readership looked forward for a price drop in newspapers, but to no avail. Internet and telephone charges remain unchanged. Hence, we request the Finance Minister to take necessary action to provide immediate relief for essential commodities,” he said.
Nothing has been mentioned as relief for special commodities. The budget has forgotten that people consume rice, onions, potatoes and dhal in their day-to-day lives