While stating that some have questioned him as to why he praised President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Independence Day speech, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said President should not let conservative forces mislead him.
MP Samaraweera told Parliament the President and the government should do the right thing and make strong decisions.
“Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as people needed a strong leader. He should prove it now. I listened to his Independence Day speech and praised it. Some question me as to why I praised it. We have listened to good speeches since 1948. Every leader comes to power pledges to do good to the nation.
However, they fall prey to conservative forces after coming into power. A strong leader is not one who act as a dictator but one who takes strong decisions within a democratic framework. He should mention that there is no alternative but the economic policy of the previous government. We request you to do the right thing,” the MP said.
The MP said the present government had created a financial crisis in the country by reducing its revenue.
“The government had gone for a broad tax-cut policy and in the process created an economic crisis. The revenue loss of these tax cuts could be Rs.500 billion. State revenue loss is 25% as a result of this. A sum of Rs.143 billion is lost from the VAT reduction alone. GDP could be reduced by 1%.
A frequently-asked question is that where are the legislation for the tax cuts. Parliament has the right to amend taxes. House should be informed about the revenue loss brought on by tax reduction,” the MP added.
The MP said House should know how the government is going to recover the revenue loss that had resulted in tax cuts. “The main issue today is that the Treasury is empty. Government should ask itself as to who should take the blame for it,” he said.
“Those who voted for the government does not think it is not good as expected, while those who voted for the opposition does not think the government is not bad as they expected it to be,” he added. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)