6 December, 2022

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RW’s Budget Of Hopes & Politics

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The President cum Finance Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 2023 budget is more than a statement of revenue and expenditure, which hopes to lay the foundation for an “open market economy of social protection”, whatever that implies. On a previous occasion he picked 2048, the centenary year, as the one which would celebrate Sri Lanka’s total transformation into a technologically driven First World Nation with an export-oriented economy motored by renewable energy. In other words, that transformation is going to be an environmentally friendly, greenish, bluish and digitalized marvel. Unlike his predecessor’s “vistas of prosperity and splendour”, RW’s economic Valhalla is going to be at least a little El-Dorado. In that sense, the 2023 budget should be considered as the first step in that direction.  

However, given the current political morass both inside and outside the parliament, that budget should also be viewed as a tactfully crafted document intended to win wider support not only from different sectors and segments of the local economy and society respectively, but also to win the confidence and admiration of international observers and aid agencies such as the IMF. Its promised $2.9 billion financial assistance is contingent upon (a) implementing aset of economic and financial measures that RW’s regime should undertake and (b) successful outcome from debt restructuring negotiations with creditors, in order to qualify for that assistance. (It appears that China is going to be a tough nut to crack in these negotiations). However, IMF assistance is crucial to achieve a level of economic stability and revival, which also and more importantly would enhance the president’s electoral popularity. When one considers the fact that by the time the budget year comes to a close, the country would be constitutionally ready for another Presidential Election illustrates the political dimension of the 2023 budget. 

But whether its expectations to achieve (a) a growth rate of 7 to 8%, (b) revenue to increase to 11.3% of GDP from 8.7% in 2022 while expenditure rising to 19.2% from 18.6% and (c) to bring down the deficit to 7.9% from 9.8% of GDP, would be realized, depend on a number of factors some of which are not strictly economic. For example, fears surrounding an escalating war in Europe, natural disasters resulting from climate change and WHO’s prediction of outbreak of another wave of Covid pandemic are outside the powers of the budget to control. Supply rigidities resulting from the war, droughts, earth tremors, wild fires and floods, all leading to fall in agricultural output and increase in food insecurity are facts that cannot be belittled or ignored in any budgeting. Given these constraints, RW’s target to increase international trade by more than 100% of GDP, an annual growth of $3 billion from new exports between 2023 and 2032, and foreign investment $3 billion over the same period appear to be based on exaggerated optimism. One can only wish his budget, Good Luck! 

Apart from those global issues there are also local issues that would eventually affect budget’s targets through contraction in aggregate demand. For example, on the revenue side, proposals to increase import duties, broadening the coverage of VAT, raising personal and corporate tax rates, introduction of surcharge tax on diesel, petrol and crude oil, and introduction of a social security contribution levy are all burdens that have to be borne ultimately by the final consumer through higher prices for his/her consumption basket. Their belt tightening would take its toll on aggregate demand. While the government itself is forced to economize its own expenditure, whether the fall in consumer demand would be more than adequately compensated by that from local and foreign investors and positive net exports is uncertain in light of gloomy predictions about an impending global recession destined to impact Sri Lanka’s trading partners, including the mighty China. The twin rise in inflation and interest rate in almost all partner countries is not a healthy sign for RW’s budget aspirations.      

Apart from that, and on the expenditure side, how would RW justify the allocation of 539 billion rupees to defence and security while health and education receive only 322 billion and 232 billion respectively? The tri-forces and police which ballooned in size, though justifiably during the war years, have turned into another white elephant after the war, and become an unjustifiable burden on tax payers. However, to all presidents and governments after 2009, defence and security had become an untouchable entity deserving continuous pampering. The size of these forces needs to be cut down to save the tax payer, and the decision to reduce the retirement age to 18 is not going far enough. There must be demobilization in stages so that only a critical minimum is maintained and kept trained and fit to meet peace time contingencies. No president since 2009 seems to have had the courage to tackle this white elephant. In short, it is political necessity more than parsimony that had kept these forces un-affordably large.    

The same problem faces the overgrown public service. Politics has a lot to answer for its expansion. It needs merciless pruning as IMF would expect, but politics stands on the way. While RW intends standing for election at the end of 2014 – unless he overrules the constitution and extends his term – that pruning is going to be very minimal.            

At the same time by reducing budget allocations to education and health, RW cannot expect to produce an “internationally competitive workforce with high skills in the next 10 years”. What is really needed is not simply an increase in the quantum of funds allocated to these sectors but the quality of that expenditure, which is more than a matter of rupees and cents.  

More than all this, any success of RW’s budget depends crucially on the administrative side of the economic equation. Improving the efficiency of tax administration, eradication of an inbuilt culture of corruption and nepotism that had distorted if not paralyzed development with economic justice, removal of artificial market rigidities, wanton profiteering and hoarding by mafia elements and local monopolists, are areas on which the budget has said little. There lies the politics of the budget. In short, RW’s 2013 budget is a document based on hopes and politics rather than a true reflection of reality outside.    

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    Why am I reminded of our annual undertakings to the UNHRC when I read these yarns?

  • 6
    0

    Parliament has turned into a Andharey’s sabawa.

    • 4
      0

      Ad
      Andhare was funny, but also very clever and even wise.
      Are we so lucky?

  • 1
    0

    Well, Dr Ali has been very diplomatic. The reason no elected President will ever dare to touch the defence and internal security budget is because one has to keep looking over his or her shoulder and lives in mortal fear of a coup d’etat. While all past attempts have failed (due to much lower army and police numbers) the current armed forces are quite large with a better command structure and the current forces including the police have become quite blood-thirsty, a coup would result in a bloody end to democracy and the rulers know that.
    Besides, the Parliament is also full of ex- military personnel.
    So, the end result is the defence and security budget will continue to rise disproportionately for the country the size of Sri Lanka.
    The idea if doubling exports in 2023 and increasing them by US$3 billion per year thereafter is another pie in the sky idea – given the drastic slowdown in the West. Besides, with the shortage of Forex hitting the import of raw materials and the dramatic fall in tea production, the President is just hoodwinking the Sinhala Buddhist majority, who are slowly waking up to the fact that they have been duped by the political class for the past 70 years.

  • 10
    1

    “RW’s Budget Of Hopes”

    He is 73! What does he hope? Live till 74?

    • 9
      0

      nimal fernando

      “He is 73! What does he hope? Live till 74”

      If he could lay the foundation for the removal of all the economic ills of this island including corruption, nepotism, …… for example sending all crooks from parliament to their natural habitat, respective homes or prisons, police armed forces abroad on a long term employment contract, … it is possible to build the country with or without Ranil.

      You can come back.
      Help the women folks.

      • 7
        2

        “No president since 2009 seems to have had the courage to tackle this white elephant. In short, it is political necessity more than parsimony that had kept these forces un-affordably large.”
        If Dr. Ali had actually read the budget speech, he would have noted this:
        “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
        So, Ranil is the first President to try and tackle this problem.

        • 1
          5

          Rubbish!
          .

          I know the words are there.
          .
          I’ll give my take on that a bit later.
          .
          Panini

        • 7
          0

          old codger

          Did you know Mahinda celebrated his birthday at home, at a vihare, cut a brown cake, ate a piece from it … surrounded by many of his lackeys, ….. an eventful day.
          Did you also know Chinese Ambassador went to his home with two of his officials carrying a huge flower bouquet, ….. https://www.facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa/…….

          Did any of our former president or prime minister have such a grand birthday celebration, especially a visit from Chinese Ambassador?

          It is very decent of Chinese diplomacy.
          On the other hand what does China want from him?

          • 3
            0

            Native,
            “surrounded by many of his lackeys,”
            Including Nurse Hamuduruwo who deals in V8 SUV’s.

          • 3
            0

            Not long ago, Mahinda and his vicious family were kept in a ship for their escape. .
            But the wonder is that very same people give country wide birthday parties? .
            .
            Are they really by people or using the loot to rebuild the image?.
            .
            Media s mafia level is revealing
            .
            Alas what a mlechcha nation 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

            • 3
              0

              Today, the nation’s biggest criminal aka Basil Rajapaksa (popularly known as “Crow”KAPUTAS) is back in the country with the reception of Booruwan.
              Sri Lankan Americans, at least 100,000 of them must be living in America, please prosecute this bastard Basil in that country. This person is a dual citizen. If a big crime is committed by Bally’s son, he can be caught here and there.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvYUbluLu04

              Airport was seen to be full of Pohottuwa crime gang members. I wonder why one of the guards did not shoot anyone in that meeting. The politicians and the people of this country are eternallly sick.
              .
              International experts believe that if the state is bound by the law, he should have been arrested and jailed by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department.

              The Rajapaksas are guaranteed impunity in this country for no reason. Lawyers, judges and other legal authorities, wake up and save this nation, if not today then when? 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

        • 6
          1

          old codger,
          You say, ‘So, Ranil is the first President to try and tackle this problem’.
          Are you sure??
          The Armed Forces are by universal standards trained for activities in addition to military responsibilities. That is economic in nature.
          .
          Our own military have indulged in farming. They run lodges, I have heard.

          • 5
            0

            Nathan,
            Yes, they do run lodges, farms, etc, on other people’s land. We pay their salaries. If they were in the least efficient at all this, why is a budget allocation bigger than the one for health/education necessary?
            There is of course a political and social dimension. Practically all the military are from one particular community. You can’t suddenly let loose 300,000 weapons-trained individuals on society. Attrition by retirement is the best option, but even that wasn’t allowed to happen since 2009.

            • 4
              0

              old codger

              “You can’t suddenly let loose 300,000 weapons-trained individuals on society.”

              Can’t Ranil find a way to export all single handed generals (probably 15,000 of them) and their hangers on another 350,000 to hot spots as mercenaries. For example, Ukraine, Russia, India, Pakistan, China, Uighur, …. Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Tibet, China/Vietnam border, …also Yemen, Nigeria, ….. Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, ….

              One problem they will have to fight with …… in actual war. You know how Kamala fought the Mangulam ambush.

            • 3
              0

              old codger,
              Let me see how far we both agree.
              … ‘ You can’t suddenly let loose 300,000 weapons-trained individuals on’.
              O.K. Let them do the farming and lodges more profitably.
              Jaffna is arid. If the move over South, their farms would produce export quality / quantity yields.
              If they run their Lodges in the South, you attract Tourists.
              On both counts, that is Employment and Currency.

              • 1
                0

                Nathan,
                Employing soldiers to do things that civilians do distorts the economy.As it is, they commandeer the lands of Northerners to grow, let’s say, vegetables. Since their salaries are paid by us, they can undercut genuine farmers by selling produce cheap. Eventually, the genuine farmers have to flee to Canada in boats.
                “. If they move over South, their farms would produce export quality….”
                How do you think Sinhalese villagers would react to the military squatting on their lands?
                And who will keep the Tamils under control?

          • 3
            0

            Nathan

            “Our own military have indulged in farming. They run lodges, I have heard.”

            The armed forces indulge in all kind of activities, a few you forgot to mention, whale watching trips, running saloons, poultry farming, protecting Gnana Akka, queue breaking at temples for their officers, smashing legitimate protests, running death squads, making innocent people disappear, running garment factories, operating Golf Clubs, banquet halls, Pet Animal Services, running most state owned institutions, ….
            …..
            Kamala and Shevendra may want to run treasury, Finance Ministry, …..Central Bank, ……

        • 3
          0

          Dear OC,
          .The media has shut down all the sensory faculties of our idiots for the past 15 years. They just follow anything without thinking twice.
          pEOPLE in general are stupdier than appeared to be. Most of them behave to the very same manner they behave dumb in a crowded bus with too much of sound exposure tremouring within the bus. Not a single commuter would stand against the sound exposure…… Or some like Bandarawella Man aka NIC hunter are swollen by DKEffect.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcfRe15I47I

        • 2
          0

          OC,
          This is going to cause MASS EXODUS from 2024!!!??? !8years from 2006!???
          After that who will grow all the vegetables in the North and East!?
          Saviours of the nation would be no more to help with agriculture, Town Planning Beautification etc.
          What a calamity???
          Sri Lanka would become the filthiest, ugly nation as before!!
          PROGRESS WOULD BE STYMIED!!
          Let them enjoy the “HONEY POT A LITTLE LONGER”???
          What would these guys do when they get ‘bored’ with life and able to access an old .303 rifle?
          Shoot partridge in the wilderness like Sir John K!!!??? Even to do that one needs an “Estate” – meaning not in salubrious Kent, England, at least at Borupana, Western Province, Sri lanka!!??
          Sri Lankans are forgiving and patient, they wouldn’t mind the splash of cash on those guys!!??
          We would deprive ourselves of many more Field Marshalls??
          We have only one solitary person to carry that burden!!

          • 0
            0

            Mahila
            “After that who will grow all the vegetables in the North and East!?”
            Good question. The obvious answer is the people who actually own the land, who are forced to flee to Canada @ 300 per boat.

      • 7
        1

        “Help the women folks.”

        I’m already helping them ……. in my own way …….


        Native,

        “If he could lay the foundation for the removal of all the economic ills of this island including corruption, nepotism, …… for example sending all crooks from parliament to their natural habitat, respective homes or prisons”

        Do you still believe in Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, Harry Potter ………?

        Fireworks in the night of 9th of May was the only thing that came close to achieving all that ……. but alas, not to be ……..

        Ranil stepped-in and saved his own political-class …….. cunningly, shrewdly and cleverly ……. better than any other pol around …….

        Ideal man for the occasion. ……. not a man for all seasons but a man for a particular task ……

        The occasion is tailor made for …….. his special set of talents! …….. sinister talents? :))

        The country will be the loser …….. in the long run ………


        Did Ranil do it for love?
        Did he do it for money?
        Did he do it for spite?
        Did you think he had to, Champa, honey?
        Who is gonna make it?
        We’ll find out in the long run
        In the long run

        • 8
          13

          Old codger and his twin Vedda can see only through Ranil.

          One time whenever I criticized Ranil Codger would say I am bumming MR ! That stopped after Ranil became president with MR votes !

          Codger is typical Western Oriented gantalman (WOG) There are many like him in India, very proud of their English, always using a long word when a simple word would have done ! Yes eve in casual forums like this !

          According to Codger, English is not a language but is thought itself, Meaning those who are using their second language English like codger, are the only ones who can think !

          He says ranil is reducing the army. Come in 5 years you will see nothing has happened,in fact the army has become bigger ! That is the ranil record for 50 years! Bluff and incompetence- but because it is said in English, ranil is great !

          • 1
            1

            deepthi Desperate silva

            Okay here is a clip that explains how this country got into such a mess:
            Janai Priyai – Raja Wasiyo | ජනයි ප්‍රියයි – රජ වැසියෝ
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcNPMKdWIz8

            Its in both languages, hence it is useful to coconuts like you, inside white outside brown in case you if you have completely lost your roots.

            “Bluff and incompetence- but because it is said in English, ranil is great !”

            Can you point out the paragraph or the particular lines you consider or you find “Bluff and incompetence”?

            I don’t think you have the necessary patience to read all 30 pages and make an honest judgement. Well if you haven’t already read it, you haven’t done any harm or crime. The debate will go on.

            By the way Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe wants all entrance exams and courses conducted at the Sri Lanka Law College to be in the English Medium while English is to be the mandatory medium of examinations, given that he is not a closet coconut.

            Along with the education reforms, the Education Ministry is planning to introduce the English medium in all schools from Grade 1 next year, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said. – Daily Mirror, 7 September 2022

          • 3
            4

            DS,
            “Codger is typical Western Oriented gantalman (WOG) There are many like him in India, very proud of their English, always using a long word when a simple word would have done ! Yes eve in casual forums like this”
            Ah well, what can I say about someone who fondly imagines that what she has written above is English?
            I still say you’re bumming MR, but MR is now bumming Ranil for his survival.

            • 2
              0

              MR has no character, I really dont know what goes through in his little head today. If mlechattawaya would be measured by a scale 1 to 10, the bugger scores 9 by fooling the very same gallery and yellow beasts 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  • 8
    2

    He reads the budget in the wrong place with the rowdies lucky he didn’t have the chille powder ,to succeed he would have get blessings and read out from Ruwan Welli saya,
    He is a good story teller VW plant…..,IMF finalised…..

    • 2
      0

      Hi Cugan,
      Good morning.
      What IMF support, when Samurdhi funds being dispensed around, 12.5% recipients are amongst the top 20% rich list!!!???
      Which beggar “sound in mind and soul” WOULD LEND MONEY AS AID, LOAN, GRANT TO ANYBODY, WHO CANNOT MANAGE AND ADMINISTER A SOCIAL SECURITY FUND to meet the demands of the NEEDY, but those in the RICHLIST!!??
      PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE HEADED BY PATALI CHAMPIKA RANAWAKA ON FINACIAL STABILITY AND NATION BUILDING HAS UNEARTHED!!!??
      TOP 20 OR BOTTOM 20 IMMATERIAL!!!??
      TOM BUFFONERY AT ITS BEST!!?? POLITICISATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE, WHICH IS NOW ROTTEN TO THE CORE AND NEPOTISM EATING AWAY THE INTEGRITY!!
      it would be interesting to find out which electorate or part of the country these 12% illegitimate Samurdhi recipients are located!!????
      MY TAKE IS, IT IS EITHER MEDAMULANA OR GAMPAHA!!????????

  • 3
    4

    Dear Dr Ameer Ali,
    .
    Thank you for a thought-provoking article.
    .
    You have said,  “One can only wish his budget, Good Luck!”
    .
    Thank you for looking for the rationale behind the budget, and asking us not to condemn it from the word, “Go”. It would be good, therefore, for me to wait for other views to emerge, before condemning everything in this budget. I have little understanding of economics, and I’m heavily prejudiced against this legal but illegitimate President.
    .
    Given all that has happened during the past two years we would also be correct to not give this man a carte blanche to complete the ruin of our country.

    • 1
      0

      This is a two and a half hour discussion of the budget, in Sinhala. Views of the NPP.
      .
      I have not listened – yet.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn8JE-s9zZ8
      .
      I have gathered by jumping/ sampling that the speakers are:
      .
      1. a Professor Janath Kumarasinghe, Professor of Economics at the University of SJP.
      .
      2. a Professor Anil Jayantha Fernando
      .
      I don’t know either of them.
      .
      It is up to us get to know them; please listen.
      .
      3. Sunil Handunnetti – we all know him! Listen!
      .

      .
      Audience questions from 1 hour 41 minutes on. This is often the most revealing section.
      .
      Submitted by: Panini Edirisinhe, a firm supporter of the NPP, but not a formal member.
      .
      A retired English teacher residing permanently in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka
      .
      National Identity Card number: 48 3111 444V
      .

    • 6
      1

      S_M: Iskolemahatthaya. Please listen to Harini of NPP. The link:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9udSHKauK8

      This is the best speech made in Parliament about the Budget, that surpasses all others.

      • 2
        1

        S_M: Iskolemahaththaya: I hope you would have listened to the speech.

        In my opinion, Harini fell short of one thing. She should have addressed the MPs on the Government side and asked all of them: ” Can any of you who got elected by the votes cast on “Pohottuwa”, deny or betray those voters and truly vote in favor of this Budget? You know the sufferings of the people. Do you find any solution to those hardships in this Budget? Can you visit your electorates and meet the voters to explain any of the Budget proposals?

        That challenge must be thrown at the Pohottuwa MPs and made known to the people. Then only both the voters and the elected MPs start thinking. If not all of them listen and forget in no time to settle down to do things as usual.

  • 7
    0

    The biggest problem with the budget is that the defence and police allocation has increased and is now nearly as much as health and education combined.Can we afford to do this?Will the IMF give loans when there is such non productive expenditure with the war over in 2009 and defence expenditure always increasing every year after the end of the war while people are justified in thinking that it should have been reduced every year instead gradually.Now RW also has increased it.

    • 4
      0

      Shankar,
      IF NOT THE ‘GUNS WOULD BE INEVITABLY TURNED TOWARDS THE VERY RECRUITERS’!!??
      THAT’S DYNAMITE AWAITING IGNITION!!??
      DEPRIVATION OF LIVELIHOOD WOULDN’T BE TAKEN AS GIVEN, VERY EASILY!!!??
      They should have started that soon after the war ended, starting with peripheral units of least important and progressively downsizing!!??? That for reasons Good or Bad, didn’t happen!! THEY FOUND VERY LATE THAT USING THE ARMY FOR AGRICULTURE OR CONSTRUCTION IS TOO EXPENSIVE IN THIS COUNTRY, UNLIKE IN MYANMAR OR EVEN CHINA!!! PAMPERED LOT CANNOT BE THROWN OUT LIKE THAT??

      • 2
        0

        mahila

        you are right.RW cannot afford to antagonise the armed forces and police when he is relying on them to save his arse.I am wondering about the IMF.Do they also agree that RW should continue as president and therefore they also shouldlook the otherway with regard to the armed forces in order to keep RW in power.I think they may prefer a election and then deal with the elected president and PM instead of unelected ones whereas RW has put all his hopes and eggs in the IMF basket.ONly time will tell.

        I also agree that they should have reduced the defence budget gradually from 2010 onwards without now suddenly doing it in a big way.However they could have started reduction in a small way at least so that the defence personnel get the message but not a lot of suffering and start to look for other jobs.However RW increased the defence allocation.He is sending the wrong message to the armed forces and IMF.

        • 2
          0

          Shankar,
          Thanks for your note, Noted.
          Defence budget cannot be static!! Unless and until Manpower is pruned down to realistic level to justify current demand – not to keep some people happy with a Honey Trap!!!
          Recurrent expenditure would be rising!!?? Why?? The Captains in 2009 would have become Majors/Lt Colonels and Colonels, to Brigadiers and Brigadiers to Major general!! Its like a tree blooming as it grows bigger the blooming is greater!! AS SUCH REMUNERATION AND ALLOWANCES, VEHICLES, HOUSING AND OTHER EXPENSES INCREASE!!!
          Worst part is up to the level of Major (Rank) the promotions are time bound only and dependent on periodic qualifying examinations!!! Unlike higher ranka depends on Command requirements!! That’smy understanding, and if I am wrong, corrections are welcome!!??
          This could never have been thought out with the retired Lt Colonel, Defence secretary who ran the place earlier, nor the earlier, “KAAKA” Finance minister?? That’s too much for them!!
          Only thing one may be able to prune is CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, which they have done!!??
          This is why, people must elect their representatives wisely and make sure they are more educated and experienced than the electors themselves!!!??

      • 2
        0

        Mahila,
        “THEY FOUND VERY LATE THAT USING THE ARMY FOR AGRICULTURE OR CONSTRUCTION IS TOO EXPENSIVE IN THIS COUNTRY,”
        There is a mistaken idea that the Army does everything efficiently. If soldiers were so good at farming or construction, they wouldn’t have joined the army.

        • 2
          0

          old codger

          don’ t forget to do farming you have to have a land.The guy who joined the army may have done so instead of farming because he did not have a land.Now that he is given a land to do the farming by the army he could become a good farmer.In fact once he has shown he can be a good farmer the army should hand over the land to him as owner if he wants to leave the army.so we reduce ou defence expenditure that way and we have a army man producing food for the nation too.same principle applies to construction.he may have loved to do construction but joined the army because he did not have the capital expenditure to buy equipment to do construction.The army can now give him the equipment and one day tell him it is his if he leaves the army.

  • 3
    1

    Why did he not give it to one qualified in finance to make it a practical reality rather than wishful hope.

    • 1
      0

      That’s an easy question to answer, davidthegood.
      .
      Ranil, even at this age, after fifty years of wielding considerable power, now wants to be the man wielding absolute power within this island.
      .
      He has travelled the world during that time, he has observed much, and his calculation is that he can pull this off. Will he tire after a year?
      .
      No way.
      Then he will be ahead of only D.W. Wijetunga in terms of tenure. He will want to systematically overtake the duration of each of the others. He has a sense of History; he has no progeny. He will want to be the longest serving. Who holds the record?
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlkpmcFBXcE&t=3s
      .
      Observe those 16 minutes for the body language. Chandrika (glass eye cannot be detected) determined to push through a New Constitution. After suffering all this trauma:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjoai8kT-TE – only 2 minutes in English.

    • 6
      2

      DTG,
      There was only one Finance Minister in our history who was qualified in finance. He isn’t remembered fondly nowadays.
      What practical reality do you expect after bankruptcy? Which country has recovered from it in a few months, and without pain?

    • 4
      2

      DTG
      Academic qualifications can be helpful but assure nothing.
      If a subject expert can resolve the economic problem, all we need to do is to advertise for PhDs with a good first degree.
      We live in a time when it is hard t find two experts who can agree on anything.
      Economic decisions are not entirely scientifically or theoretically guided. Political ideology and subjective preferences play a big role. Also academic qualifications seem to correlate poorly with integrity, thankfully not yet negatively.

      • 0
        0

        SJ and oc, My point is that finances need to be handled by those with clean hands and pure hearts. As long as the robber family can put in a finger to touch the dollars, IMF will be watching and delaying loan giving as a futile exercise.

  • 3
    0

    Mr. Ameer Ali,
    “Introduction of A SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTION LEVY are all burdens that have to be borne ultimately by the final consumer through higher prices for his/her consumption basket.”
    That may be true and sizeable burden to bear by 20 million people, belive 50% not fully employed!!??
    Add the following:
    “The National Council Sub Committee on ECONOMIC STABILITY HEADED BY MP Patali Champika Ranawaka, presented the initial report of the subcommittee to media, which amongst other matters, reveals another staggering disclosure, that, 12% OF SAMURDHI BENEFICIARIES ARE THE ONES WHO ARE AMONG THE RICHEST 20% AMONG THE POPULATION”
    If that’s the case, then why have Samurdhi at all and why and how this could happen?
    Is this not proof that our Sri Lanka Administrative service (SLAS) is useless outfit and be disbanded pronto without further Delay, Questioning, Committee’s, Reports and Dilly Dallying Discussion!!!??
    Waste of time, resources and Money on utterly useless personnel!! Save all and send them home!!
    Alternatively, if they followed and did the BIDDING OF POLITICIANS THAT NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH SACKING AND CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS AGAINST POLITICIANS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATORS,, nip this callous spending of Public money irresponsibly for selfish purposes!!!??
    Hope sanity Prevails!!???????????

  • 2
    1

    “RW’s Budget Of Hopes”

    Until 2048, We have to go through at least 25 budgets. In the past we had around 75 budgets and gone through 75 years of hope to reach the bankgruptcy level. RW also has a hope that he can find a solution to the problems of the Tamils within next three months. So Tamils have to wait only 3 months to get everything. He waited for 50 years to reach his presidency. That was a miracle. Ranil is now another Lord Buddha to Sri lanka to rehabilitate the politicians and politics of this country. He couldn’t do for the 50 years because the people couldn’t reach his real talent to run this country as a single man called Lord Ranil..

    • 3
      0

      Ranil like all Chingkalla politicians and elite is trying to hoodwink the world and the UN, pretending to sort out the Thamizh problems but not really does not want to. He wants them to come to the negotiating table to show the world that he is doing something about the Thamizh so that favourable decisions regarding Sri Lanka can be reached. However, like most Chinkallams, he does not want just Thamizh’s rights and the minimum requirement of federalism, to safeguard their homeland lands, territories, history, language and culture from further Chingkalla, illegal incursions, that have already stolen 1/3 of their historic homeland. He has openly stated that the minimum Thamizh requirement, federalism is not on the agenda, so what is there to discuss with regards to Thamizh rights? Some village-level Panchayat systems?

      • 3
        0

        The country can go to the dogs and be bankrupt but the Chingkallams, their elite and politicians do not care about how to restore order and prosperity, by respecting human rights, just Thamizh rights and merit. They still think they can hoodwink the world and continue with their racist Chingkalla Buddhist Fascist ideology and completely destroy the Thamizh. In Sri Lanka, 25% of the population speaks Thamizh as their mother tongue. In India, it is around 6% but see the difference between the treatment of the Thamizh language and Thamizh people in India and in Sri Lanka. This article from the Hindu states a lot.
        https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-narendra-modi-inaugurates-kashi-tamil-sangamam/article66156889.ece

  • 0
    0

    RW’s Budget Of Hopes & Politics

    There was previous budget and every one parliament supported at the end the country is bankrupt Now he want to win the next election. And giving goos speeches abd says there is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech. Eradication of an inbuilt culture of corruption and nepotism will not happen because they supported Ranil to undermine exploitation, inferiors do him a favor – it will be extremely costly. Dual citizenships in parliament dwelling in parliament

  • 1
    0

    Lot of us thinking why high proportion of the budget for military, despite the fact that war ends in 2009,but reality is mission not accomplished lot of works to be done in the N/E archaeological dept needs lot of man power,lot of renovations has to be done this dept got over loads of jobs.
    So to save a lot of money ,for building construction use our forces, they don’t have any one to fight.so use the resources for the people .constitution hi lights “foremost “safe guarded for 2500yrs getting the priorities right. People born and die. But history of chronicle.

  • 3
    0

    Ranil only want to stay in power at any cost. He has no respect to people, democracy or anything probably a man with a deep psychological issue. Now he wants to sell profit making institutions. He is only aiming at getting fuel and gas a continuous supply to ensure that public don’t get on to the streets. This can only be done by selling those asserts to peezons who have company in Qatar to ensure uninterrupted supply. No one except SLFP has raised objection.our so called experts are silent

  • 1
    0

    Dear leelagemalli,
    .
    You made the last comment to be admitted here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/midterm-us-politics-postterm-post-rajapaksa-politics/
    .
    I had already word-processed a comment in response to yours, but when I submitted it, I was told that comments on that article were over.
    .
    I shall place them below this next article by Rajan Philips:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/2023-budget-wickremesinghe-economics-post-rajapaksa-politics/
    .
    Also, throwing my mind back to 1984, I realise that there was an inaccuracy that crept into my account of how Professors Thiru Kandiah and Ashley Halpe got involved in this storm in eardrums regarding the pronunciation of “year”. There was indeed this confusion which was brought about by a mispronunciation but it was resolved by Thiru quite simply acknowledging that he had got it wrong.
    .
    It doesn’t look as though Thiru has seen all that. As I told Manel Fonseka, Thiru doesn’t look at all this, but Indranee does, and if she sees something interesting she passes them on to Thiru.
    .
    I must write and tell them tomorrow; and then I’ll tell you the corrected version.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

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