The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today said the budget 2021 had not put forward any proposals to benefit the people affected by the Covid-19 epidemic even though they expected the budget to include short-term and mid-term proposals to address issues faced by these people.
JVP politburo member Sunil Hadunnetti told a news conference that people had been left without means to live due to the drawback in the economy amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People are struggling for survival as they have lost their means of living at the moment. They expected the budget to include reasonable solutions to their issues. However, it turned out to be yet another traditional budget speech,” he said.
Mr. Hadunnetti said even though the government had estimated an expenditure of Rs. 3,500 billion next year, it was not practically mentioned how the estimated expenditure would be raised.
“The Government has not come out with solutions to address the debt crisis. The Government has estimated a revenue of Rs. 1,961 billion for 2021, but has only managed to earn a revenue of Rs. 906 billion during the first eight months of this year. It will earn a maximum of Rs. 200 billion during the next four months. Without proposing income sources, how is the Government going to raise Rs. 1,961 billion,” he asked.
Mr. Hadunnetti said a special online goods and services tax has been proposed for the people who are already burdened with taxes.
He said the Government has proposed a means for money laundering in the budget proposals, where it was proposed how to invest money earned through illegal means.
He said even though some proposals were deemed to be constructive, there were ulterior motives behind them while some others were not practical.
“For example, there is a proposal to construct four state universities. However, only Rs. 1,000 million has been allocated for that. This is not practical. Funds allocated to construct 50,000 km of rural roads and bridges were not sufficient,” he said.(Ajith Siriwardana)