6 December, 2022

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Budget 2023: Full Speech

The Budget 2023 speech by the Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe:

Honorable Speaker, 

A glimmer of hope on emerging from the economic abyss is currently visible, as a result of the strenuous and difficult policies we have been compelled to adopt during the past few months. After the era of waiting in queues for days and various protests, our distress has been eased to some extent, reaching a sense of satisfaction. 

Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are currently in progress. We are in dialogue with India and China on debt restructuring, and confident that these discussions will lead to positive outcomes. 

Inflation could be controlled to some extent due to the recent action in this regard. Similarly, the rupee is strengthening. We expect to sustain these developments. I am confident that by moving along the same path, we will be able to stabilize the economy within the next year.

But we cannot be satisfied and therefore must start a new journey.

Presenting the Interim Budget proposals last August, I stated that the purpose of these proposals is to lay the basic foundation for transforming the economy that has continued to exist in our country. On that occasion I proposed, that the process of building a new economy suitable for the modern world, would be initiated through the budget proposals of 2023.

Seventy-five years after independence, can we be satisfied with the status quo? Where did we go wrong? How did we go wrong?

I was born in independent Sri Lanka, one year after its independence. At that time, Japan had the most developed economy in Asia. It is well known that we were second. However today, the per capita income of Sri Lanka is USD 3,815, and Japan’s USD 39,285.

I recollect another personal experience of mine. In 1991, when I was the Minister of Industry, my Vietnamese counterpart came to Sri Lanka. He wanted to study our open economic system and industrialization strategies, which was granted. He was given the opportunity to discuss with the officials of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission. In 1995, while Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves were USD 2.1 billion, Vietnam’s was USD 1.3 billion. The Minister of Vietnam further studied our related policies before the return to his country. What is the situation today? In 2021 Vietnam’s foreign reserves are USD 109.4 billion, and Sri Lanka’s USD 3.1 billion.

Let’s look back. Let’s desist from politically tinted agendas. Why did we get it wrong? Where did we go wrong? What did we get wrong? Or, did we get anything  wrong?

Full speech can be read here

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Where did we get it wrong? Politics in Sri Lanka has now become a family-run profession. It all started in 1948 and now it has become worse; Members of one family sharing the whole important portfolios from President to Prime minister and other ministries as happened in the past 3 years. Finally, all disappeared after defrauding the country’s finances and investing frauded billions abroad, which led Sri Lanka now being treated as one of 11 Feminine countries in the world.

  • 10
    11

    After being leader of UNP for more than 25 years, PM 6 times, completely defeated at the last general election, Ranil is blaming some one !

    Any way I like the squeaky voice of the nation builder !

    • 7
      6

      deepthi Desperate silva

      Have you had time to read the 30 page Budget speech, grasp the finer points and really understand the gist of Ranil’s presentation?

      If you haven’t please spend some days, weeks, months, years on the speech then come back old codger, nimal fernando, nathan, chiv,…. and many able readers on this forum are ever-ready to help you.

      Good day to you

      • 3
        0

        Native,
        How about sharing a pipeful of ganja, even though Ranil called it by some outlandish name?
        BTW, has any previous President read out the full budget speech in Parliament?

        • 2
          0

          Native,
          I think he called it “thriloka vijaya pathra”.

          • 0
            0

            Native,
            I heard Eran Wickramaratna today congratulating Ranil for getting Dinesh Gunawardena to defend what is clearly an UNP budget.

            • 0
              0

              Native,
              Also, today, Champika Ranawaka’s parliamentary committee has recommended that excess Ranaviruwos should be sent home. Wonders will never cease!

              • 1
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                old codger

                “… Champika Ranawaka’s parliamentary committee has recommended that excess Ranaviruwos should be sent home. Wonders will never cease!”

                Ranil buried the same news among things.

                Budget speech 2023
                Excerpt

                39. Allowing Armed Forces Personnel to Retire Early

                39.1. I propose to allow armed forces personnel, other than special categories, to retire after 18 years of service. Measures will be taken to provide them with necessary training, enabling them to engage in productive economic activities. https://www.dailynews.lk/2022/11/15/local/291140/sri-lanka-towards-new-beginning

                Where did you find Ranawaka’s parliamentary committee recommendation? Could you let me have the link.

                • 0
                  0

                  Native,
                  “Where did you find Ranawaka’s parliamentary committee recommendation?”

                  Watch from 16.51.
                  https://youtu.be/uhTbCJejBSY

            • 1
              0

              old codger

              ” ….. getting Dinesh Gunawardena to defend what is clearly an UNP budget.”

              Any self respecting Sinhala/Buddist racist nationalist would cover his face and escaped … to ….. If I were Dinesh I will catch the next boat to join the recent Sri Lankan refugees in Vietnam.

              Is he still living in Sri Lanka?

            • 1
              0

              “an UNP budget.”
              OC, someone may be on the watch.

              • 0
                0

                SJ,
                There still are people who think tails can’t wag dogs.

      • 8
        12

        WOW ! What gigantic egos these old men commenting in the CT have ! Your own declaration of your wisdom and intelligence makes me dizzy !

        What hidden talents this failed third world country hides in its old men !

        • 2
          3

          deepthi Desperate silva

          Have you had time to read the 30 page Budget speech, grasp the finer points and really understand the gist of Ranil’s presentation?

        • 1
          3

          Desperate Deepthi,
          “What hidden talents this failed third world country hides in its old men !”
          What asinine idiocy this country hides in its ugly old women !

          • 2
            2

            DS,
            Why are you being so unfair to Native, RW, and myself? We don’t hold it against you that you’re ugly, so why do you object to our being old?

            • 0
              0

              old codger

              “We don’t hold it against you that you’re ugly, so why do you object to our being old?

              • 1
                2

                old codger

                “We don’t hold it against you that you’re ugly, so why do you object to our being old?”

                Because she is bit jealous she finds aging never made her wise nor does it make her graceful.

                • 9
                  10

                  Vedda and Codger are two silly old men.

                  Codger is orgasmic when he thinks RW is being very devious, getting Champika, Dinesh to “do” his bidding !Or that is what this old codger is thinking.

                  In the last 20 years how many people played out Ranil ? Gamini D.in UNP leadership stakes, Chandrika so many times, prabakaran countless times, MR too many times ( even now as puppet President without a mandate !), Sirisena several times , I think Mahendran/aloysius too took him for a ride .

                  The entire UNP in disgust have deserted him. Even as the President Ranil cannot attract a single MP. In fact they are joining SJB.

                  Just manipulating and lying does not make a person a statesman .Ranil justified the trip to Cairo as an chance to meet head of world bank who promised him money!

                  True ?

                  • 1
                    0

                    deepthi Desperate silva

                    “Just manipulating and lying does not make a person a statesman .”

                    Please try and name one statesman other than C. W. W. Kannangara.

                    • 1
                      0

                      deepthi Desperate silva

                      You are keen to demolish old codger and Ranil whenever you find time at the same time have you had time to think about the size of the armed forces which squanders nearly Rs 410 billions a year and how it sucks the meagre resources this country can’t afford to waste on unproductive alleged war criminals.

                      Weren’t/aren’t you happy when the armed forces committed large scale war crimes between 1971 and 2022? Why aren’t you talking about alleged war crimes and possibly genocide?

                      I suggest rather than bashing old codger and Ranil why don’t you investigate all war crimes committed not only by armed forces but also by armed groups and militias. If you need help please ask Thady Priyantha, Gota, Fonseka, Shavendra, Kamala, …… Weeping Weerasekera, ….

                      I wish you a productive year in 2023.

          • 1
            0

            OC
            You can afford to be a little more polite.

            • 0
              0

              SJ,
              If I said “aesthetically challenged”, DS might have taken it as a compliment, and gone orgasmic (in her own words).

  • 2
    0

    The then Government itself disturbed the people we had resources than Vietnam and second to japan. A disciplined mind leads to success, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.

    The people have changed the leaders for dicipline Accountability is the essence of democracy. If people do not know what their government is doing, they cannot be truly self-governing. Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, Never to be the system of a regular government. as done and bankrupt the country.

  • 2
    0

    The Hon. President’s speech is excellent similar to the former Presidents speech. In reality, Sri Lanka is a corrupted nation and politically unstable. Nobody expected Bond scam, No body expected Easter Bombing, Nobody expected Corona, . Nobody expected Russian invasion in Ukraine.No body expected the removal of Rajapaksa rule. We can’t predict the future. we are now used to extra ordinary developments in the political and economic developments. Either we are going to be the First World Status or Last world status in 2048 with our centuary by from 1948.

  • 2
    2

    And Vietnam came to study our system.

    They came because they thought we were communist like them with some tinkering into capitalism to give it a bit of balance.
    They came to see if there was any possibility of fine tuning their system on what WE were doing wrong.
    They came, they learnt, they implemented.
    Then they ignored us.

    Whilst they were imprisoning their capitalistic boys, WE were imprisoning, torturing, and killing our socialistic/communist boys.

    Guess which country won!

    • 1
      0

      ramona therese fernando

      “They came because they thought we were communist like them with some tinkering into capitalism to give it a bit of balance.”

      The Vietnamese Embassy was opened in 1971.
      Are you suggesting the Vietnamese were so thick (like the Lankies) they didn’t know what was happening in Sri Lanka?

      “WE were imprisoning, torturing, and killing our socialistic/communist boys.”

      Who were these socialistic/communist boys?
      Maybe, psychopath Rohana and his boys or his fellow psychopath Prabaharan and his boys and girls?

  • 2
    1

    It would have been useful had CT published the key numbers.
    In 1977, Sri Lanka did not import chillies, onions, mung dhal, urid dhal or sesame seeds. When JR Jayawardana opened up the economy, it was his expressed intention to deprive the farmers of their livelihood by cheap imports. JR himself said that these people can get jobs in the garment industry.
    He allowed the import of cars (and as a result more petroleum) but failed to invest in public transport infrastructure, such as a mass rapid transit system in Colombo. As a result, Colombo became a highly polluted city (Singapore government paid owners to take out cars over three years old, and sold them to Sri Lanka at a mark-up.
    Now his nephew is talking about first world status by 2048. The Sinhala Buddhist majority will buy that nonsense. How to achieve it when the political class and the civil service are utterly corrupt and the President dare not touch the defence or the internal security establishment. Tax evasiony mind is the , already rampant will be another industry.
    People will get progressively poorer, children’s development stunted – Nero, fiddle, Rome, burning mean anything.

    • 1
      0

      “Now his nephew is talking about first world status by 2048. “
      The way the First World is going now after the wave of sanctions against Russia, we may, with no effort, reach their level even sooner.

      • 1
        0

        “The way the First World is going now after the wave of sanctions against Russia, we may, with no effort, reach their level even sooner.”

        Instead, let us aspire to become peacefully rising middle kingdom’s autonomous region where Mao’s trash is dumped in order to make Sri Lanka great again.

  • 1
    0

    “The way the First World is going now after the wave of sanctions against Russia, we may, with no effort, reach their level even sooner.”

    Instead, let us aspire to become peacefully rising middle kingdom’s autonomous region where Mao’s trash is dumped in order to make Sri Lanka great again.

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