28 September, 2020

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Reluctant Vote For The Budget

By Namal Rajapaksa

Namal Rajapaksa MP

Namal Rajapaksa MP

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has taken a decision to vote for the interim budget presented by the new Government. In the interest of maintaining the integrity and unity of the Party, I have decided to stand with the Party decision. However, I do so with reluctance because of concerns I have about the unsustainable nature of the proposals that have been presented.

Consider, for example, the reduction in the prices of petrol, diesel, LP gas, and kerosene. Fuel reductions are generally welcome measures. However, though it would appear to be an immediate relief to the public, the extent of the reduction in fuel prices, unfortunately, are unlikely to be sustainable in the long run and could have an immensely negative impact on the overall economy. Even though global oil prices were low at the time the present Government decreased fuel prices, this past week, crude prices have seen a marked increase. How sustainable this price reduction will be is the concern. While it may be easy to please the public in the short-term with such measures, such ad-hoc decisions are more likely to have a negative long-term impact on the country’s economy and thus the everyday lives of ordinary citizens.

Another concern is the extent to which the Government has decided to increase salaries. We agree in principle with the need to increase salaries. In fact, it was former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who first proposed the increase of salaries and pensions in the 2015 National Budget that he presented last year. However, the new administration has amplified the salary hike to a level that will not be sustainable, once again.

There are also a number of concerns with regard to proposals pertaining to the agricultural sector as well. First, even though the Government has proposed a guaranteed price of Rs. 50/kg for paddy, it will be difficult to secure that price with the low prices of wheat flour and bread. Additionally, considering the duty free imports for products like green gram, dry fish and other grain varieties, there will be a negative impact for farmers of these agricultural products. The bottom line is that these budget proposals will almost definitely hurt the local farmers, not help them.

Then there is the Rs. 1 billion tax imposed on casinos and sports-related television channels. How was this taxation amount decided? What is the basis? While we completely agree with imposing any amount of tax on casinos, what is the logic behind imposing the same tax on types of businesses that generate vastly different ranges of profit? Furthermore, doesn’t the imposition of taxes on casinos imply regulation of that industry? Didn’t this administration propose the shutting down of all casinos in the country? The public needs to be aware of this double standard that is being practiced by the current administration.

There are further concerns on how taxation will impact investors and the private sector overall. Sri Lanka’s business community has already expressed great dissatisfaction at the super gains tax that has been included in the interim budget. Although justifications are being made for this tax, citing short-term revenue needs, it sets a very dangerous precedent, one that will make it acceptable to penalize successful businesses every time the government sees the need to generate short-term revenue. Furthermore, should successful businesses in the country be punished for being efficient and producing good returns? It is certain to scare away any potential investors from even considering Sri Lanka to set up a new venture.

While there are a number of other worrying aspects about the proposed budget, the one other aspect I would like to point out here is the reduction in the prices of essential items that was much hyped-about leading up to the presentation of the budget. However, other than perhaps flour, sugar and milk powder, the products chosen for this reduction in prices was a big letdown to the public.

I stand with the new Government’s claims that the budget must provide relief to those that are less fortunate, to those who are finding it difficult to provide for their families. It is crucially important for us to help our fellow Sri Lankans lift themselves out of poverty. Those who have been fortunate enough to profit can be asked to withstand more of a burden on behalf of the society at large. But unfortunately, it seems very obvious that this budget was prepared to please the public with impending elections in mind, with short-sighted proposals that are more appropriate for a 100-day programme rather than the entire year that national budgets should be targeted towards.

It is my hope that the strength of the economy that was maintained during the past nearly two decades will be adequate to rectify these short-term negative effects.

*Namal Rajapaksa MP is the eldest son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His writings can be found at http://www.namalrajapaksablog.com

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Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    This is how NAMAL Rajapakse abused the system to collect money from govt institutions for his BLUE BRIGADE.

    See the link;

    [Edited out]

    Letter heads of the Presidential Secretariat, the head of the President’s staff Gamini S. Senarath as well as Presidential Deputy Secretary Deepa Liyanage had been used to collect funds from Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation for a New Year celebration held at Attanayala, Medamulana in 2014.

    Similarly, funds have been collected from various institutions for the activities of ‘Blue Brigade’ and ‘A Tomorrow for Youth’ organizations. We would reveal more details with evidence regarding such sordid moves soon.

    This shows how they used govt money for their advancement.

  • 5
    0

    Namal,

    Price reduction is good and is sustainable.

    Previously your ‘Aadambarakara Thaththi’ upped the price of everything and pocketed the money along with the largesse flowing on to your own pockets.

    The prices can now go back to being the right price.

  • 4
    0

    Impressive thoughts Namal.You tution master GL has done a good job.But like your law exams did ge write this for you?

    Dont think a phoney like you can fake such concerns.

  • 10
    0

    Hey Namal machang,

    Don’t worry mate we know very well you did not write this.

    All good things come to an end in life machang!

    But Russian sluts will always be available and cheap.
    So you and your brothers have nothing to worry.

    Forget things like Budget and Rugby. Those are for clever people.
    Mate, it is not your fault to have been born in a family of thugs without Brains.

    Enjoy your youth Machang.
    Try and get a couple of russian ones for your dad & Punchi thatha.
    They are bored these days. They will relish russian sluts.
    Now poor Punchi Goat cannot go back to US also.
    Look after the old thugs too mate.

  • 0
    2

    Dear Sir

    Appreciate your point of view. You must be aware that our constitution says innocent until proven guilty. (not an amendment)

    You can correct this reluctant budget by getting the Majority SLFP to win in the general election and do the following

    Roll back punitive taxes on top companies

    Repeal the 250 million Telecom tax and give back the funds

    Repeal the 1 billion Television Tax and give back the funds

    The people of this country don’t want Robin Hoods.

    I am sure you are eagerly awaiting sustained 7% (Actual figure) growth for the next 10 years (or is it 100 days) and ten times the development in the next ten years (or is it 100 days) as promised by Mr MS.

  • 5
    0

    Hey Namal bugger, you are not even fit to own a vegetable shop let alone being a politician.

    • 0
      0

      He’s got a ‘de-facto’ hardware shop nearby Medamulana.

  • 4
    0

    Mahinda Rajapakse seems to admit his effectiveness as a leader of the SLFP is now a thing of the past. Therefore, this is an attempt to prop
    up young Namal to keep the flames of keeping the Rajapakses in a leadership role in the country. From what is known of young Namal, he is unable to write an essay of this nature and neither is he capable of making an impromptu speech in English. He may blabber his way through Sinhala although the youngest Chichi is fairly good in general English conversation among the 3 boys. The several challenges made to Namal to address any leading think-tank in English has not been accepted. Let him at least try to make a speech in Sinhala although it is common knowledge education and the Medamulana Rajapakses are not mentioned in the same sentence.

    Namal, unfortunately, was introduced to politics from the wrong end.
    He was made to believe he was the Prince-in-Waiting, which even his maapas and baapas did not accept. He began his political life in profligacy. His first attempt to bring the Indian International Film Festival was a flop. Hundreds of unpaid bills going to millions of rupees to 5-star hotels, the Railway and private contractors remain from that sordid saga. His bringing Salman Khan and Jacqueline to “entice” the Lanka public blew back on the face of the Rajapakses. His other nocturnal debaucherous activities are now legendary with that pathinidevi Anarkali vanishing to California and marrying a cluekess Sinhala youth. The young Rajapakse Brothers now dare not take to the rugger field, which, they treated as their private fiefdom only weeks ago. Karma, that old bitch, is working against the venal Rajapakse family. The pingadi family that lived a grand life on the poor resources of the country is now in the gutters – their traditional home.

    Whether the Javanese-looking Namal will even get nomination to Hambantota is now a reasonable question.

    Horikadey

  • 2
    0

    It is almost surreal to see Namal Rajapaksha writing to Colombo Telegraph criticizing the government in power. If I remember correctly, didn’t his fathers regime block this very website to prevent people critiquing the Rajapaksha regime!!!. It is amazing how these people – the former President, his clan and henchmen/”yes Sir”men (Weeravansha, Gammanpila, Dinesh Gunawardene et al) – who shamelessly misused power and tried every unethical means to become entrenched in power talk now as if they are born again!, or perhaps they think we are!

    • 2
      0

      I am never in favour of the sins of “Sins of the father being visited upon the Son” but in Namal’s case I am willing to make an exception because he is such a twit still trying to glorify his father and uncle, ignoring their thuggery, wickedness, vindictiveness and most of all their blatant embezzlement of our meagre resources.

  • 2
    0

    Namal

    Since you and your family are not thieving anymore, there is more money available to dispense to the poor masses.

    Fuel reduction is partly due to low crude oil price per barrel but reduction of fuel tax is another reason. When crude price rises, price of fuel at the pump may rise but the government need not increase fuel tax.

  • 2
    0

    If you are reluctant, why do not go home.

  • 1
    0

    Did’nt know that you were such a polished writer , young man ! Some silly people think that the ghost writer is a highly educated professor who used to address you as ‘Sir ‘- because you were the heir to the throne . He has gone very quiet , maybe spending a lot of time on your PR work . Please remember to make him PM for all his efforts , next time round.

  • 2
    0

    Browsing through the comments, most people are of the opinion that this distinguished MP who is a lawyer by the way, is in capable of writing the above article.

    Unless our general public feel that actually think of MP Namal is a retard, this shouldn’t be, because the writing is pretty straight forward and almost anyone in Namal’s position should be able to pull this off.

    The only thing I see is that Namal writing on CT seems a bit cheap and dumb since up until last month it was the same Rajapaksa family that was blocking CT. So either the guy has no shred of self respect and/or he is a complete moron.

    Then again, the lack self respect runs in the family, so it must be genetic and for one to be so thick skinned he must be a moron as well.

    This brings us to the initial general consensus, about the writing impairment, this must then be true as well then.

    Though, they say don’t judge a book by its cover, in Namal’s case I guess this doesn’t count, he is the retard that he appears to be!!!

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