Budget 2013: luxury Vs frugality - Editorial

5 November 2012 03:59 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The annual budget for the year 2013 will be presented in Parliament this week. From the fourth budget after the conclusion of war, people still expect the reliefs promised long ago by the government. However, their eagerness in anticipating such comforts has long died down; with the way things are going, their disillusionment is hardly unexpected.



In fact, with the obstinacy from the part of the government, which willfully ignores the cries of its people, the citizenry have lost faith in the budget and its many-promised concessions. Their loss of hope is such that, even if the budget does not bring any of the expected comforts, they will swallow its bitterness without much commotion.
Despite all, the budget holds a prime importance in the country’s decision making as it reflects the focus of the policy-makers. A budget alone will tell you whether the country’s high-heads have chosen skyscrapers above its people or whether highways are chosen over poverty alleviation.

Sadly, little do they realize that there is no point building highways if the citizen can’t afford a litre of petrol for his vehicle; nor can the carnivals be food for entertainment when people live with empty stomachs.

Every time people’s grievances are presented, the readymade excuse that the government’s full focus is on the post-war development projects, cannot be valid anymore; for infrastructure alone does not account for sustainable development.

Perhaps, what the high-heads do not realize is that enjoying luxuries at the expense of the common man cannot last forever. By widening the gap between the haves and have-nots, willfully or otherwise, the decision-makers of country’s economy invite danger that can end in revolutions; signs of which can be seen right through the world. When it comes to exercising people’s power, Sri Lanka can be no exception.

At any rate, corruption in state institutions, political favoritism and massive expenditures by the state that does not fall within the budget should be stopped immediately. The magnitude of government’s tangled priorities is such that, its extravagance beats that of rest of the world.

Thinking big is a sure sign of development; however, thinking big the wrong way can result in drastic consequences. If the government cannot genuinely consider bringing relief to its people who voted them into power, they should at least consider spending within their budget in the days to come.

After all, accumulating debts should not be our definition of development.
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