Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today he would not have given the concessions given in January 2015 if it was he who had been finance minister at that time.
He told a media briefing that in any case he would not disassociate himself with the decision to give concessions by this government of which he was also a minister.
“What we inherited from the previous government's crony capitalist system was a fiscal time bomb,” the minister said and admitted to the fact that most of the MPs had imported vehicles by the time the government had decided to suspend duty-free vehicle permits.
The minister said the government would have to re-visit the need if any for the vehicle permit system any longer. He said by October this year 1.4 million LCs had been opened for the import of vehicles and some 1.6 million vehicles were to be imported.
“At this rate, Sri Lanka no doubt, will experience a vehicle tsunami,” the minister said and added that it was essential for Sri Lanka to adopt an export driven economy and would submit with more proposals to control imports and enhance exports in the wake of the rupee devaluation.
“There are false notions on the rupee devaluation. It would not have been too bad if the country was not affected by a debt burden as it is the case at present,” he said and underscored the fact that the country’s debt servicing would amount to Rs.4 trillion during the next two years.
The minister said the releasing of dollars from our reserves was not an effective solution to devaluation and citing an example he said the rupee was devalued by 14 per cent despite the decision taken by the previous regime to release US$250 million from the reserves.
He said the Indian rupee has devalued more than the Sri Lankan rupee though India had released $40 billion from its reserves.
Moving on to politics, the minister said the report that efforts were being made to form a interim government was a story fabricated and planted by the opposition to scare off investors and pointed out that such a government was a day dream of the 16 SLFP dissidents who had crossed over to the opposition. (Yohan Perera)
Exactly. It was all that idiot Ravi Ks fault. UNP deputy leader.
Sunil Tuesday, 09 October 2018 07:45 PM
Of course! The former finance minister had given himself a huge concession at the expense of the poor people of this country.
Nandimtra Tuesday, 09 October 2018 08:08 PM
Haa, Haa, Haaa....., What are you baffling about. Country's economy and finances in doldrums, you are playing the violin
MP Wednesday, 10 October 2018 07:38 AM
Sri Lanka is burning, you are playing the violin at the expense of poor tax payers.
Richard Tuesday, 09 October 2018 08:10 PM
Walk the Talk Mangala. You are the FM now, so why don't you impose the repayment of CIF import duty by the MPs (including yourself), who sold the 'duty free' vehicle and pocketed the money? Also, those who sold the tax payer paid vehicle should now use their private vehicle for their official business.
jakob Wednesday, 10 October 2018 01:51 PM
Dallas Wednesday, 10 October 2018 03:32 AM
2015 concessions including 10000 rupees for each public servant and reducing fuel prices by about 20 percent is the root cause which started this chain reactionNo one else is responsible for this it is this Yahapalanaya governments decisionThen to control inflation you increased interest rates from 6.5 percent 10% in 1.5 years
shiran Wednesday, 10 October 2018 07:01 AM
It is true the external shock is there. but it is not serious as previous world crises such as what happened in 2009 and 2012. but we are shaking due to our debt burdens. this is very basic economics and finance literacy to say you will be vulnerable to even a tiny shock if you are debt burdened. same for an individual also. the worries of general public is that government and agents seem to work in contrary. government agents are spending lavishly. Western province is rich enough to spend Rs 650,000 for chair and Rs 10 mn for a door. spillovers are everywhere. when it comes to spending of government numbers are jaw dropping. surprisingly, anther section of the government says, country is tight and no resources. can I live only in the western province rather than in sri lanka. because, WP is rich but country is poor.
SL Wednesday, 10 October 2018 07:08 AM
former prez MR was the one who approved re-selling of vehicle permits.This must be banned.permits is give to the gvt servants considering that they need a vehicle
Missaka Wednesday, 10 October 2018 07:31 AM
Utter rubbish!. After 2015 all vehicle values gone up including 1000cc. Since Sri Lankans has a habit of forgetting things in couple of weeks, these political morons are able to lie at a whole sale.
DillonDP Wednesday, 10 October 2018 01:07 PM
Well we say the same thing, none of you guys (ministers) would have happened if your parents were actually doing some proper work
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