24 November, 2017

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Vehicle Bonanza For MPs As Country Plunges Into Economic Crisis

In an obvious mix up in priorities, the Yahapalanaya government led by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe continued to shower the 225 parliamentarians with bonanza after bonanza, while slapping the public with more taxes and price increase in essential items. In the latest bonanza, the Cabinet approved a proposal to provide an extra vehicle each to the Parliamentarians, which is expected to cost the government a colossal sum running to several hundred million.

Ravi RanilThe additional vehicle for which approval was given, is in addition to the vehicle they receive through the permit which they are entitled to. The proposal for an additional vehicle for each parliamentarian was submitted by the Minister of Media and Parliamentary Affairs, Gayantha Karunathilaka.

The latest move comes in the midst of another proposal to provide an additional monthly allowance of Rs.175,000 to parliamentarians, which will cost the government a further Rs. 472.8 million a year. The proposal received wide opposition from civil society organisations including the National Movement for Social Justice, Purawesi Balaya and Decent Lanka.

The back to back bonanza offers to parliamentarians come in the wake of the government facing a severe financial debacle, and as the country continued to plunge into economic chaos.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that in a period of just one year the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government had obtained a staggering US $ 6361 million in loans. While Wickremesinghe has been continuously blaming Rajapaksa, saying due to the loans taken during the past decade, the current government is in debt to the tune of almost Rs. 10 trillion.

Speaking in Parliament last Wednesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disclosed that within the next six weeks, his government will have to decide if the government had the capacity to absorb US $ 1 billion debt, else the future course of action that should be taken to address this issue. The debt ridden national carrier, SriLankan airlines is dragging an equally debt ridden government into a fresh crisis having no way of paying up a nearly US $ 1 billion debt.

Last week, the government approached China seeking a currency swap of US $ 1 billion, which follows a currency swap with India, as the country’s foreign exchange reserves continued to deteriorate. The Yahapalanaya government has also so far failed to attract foreign investments to the country despite initial rhetoric pledging otherwise.

This month, Sri Lanka also received repeated setbacks from international credit rating agencies, with Fitch Ratings downgrading its ratings on Sri Lanka by a notch to B+ with a negative outlook, which was followed by Standard & Poor’s revised outlook on its B+ sovereign credit rating to negative, in the midst of mounting concerns of increasing debt, weak revenue and decline in foreign reserves.

In early March, Wickremesinghe increased the Value Added Tax to 15%, and also reintroducing the Capital Gain Tax. Mid this month, the price per kilogram of wheat flour was increased by Rs. 7.20, which resulted in an increase in all flour based products including bread, which went up by Rs. 4.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    The change people expected is fading away quite rapidly. Do not forget guys… this is SRI LANKA, where most of the people are corrupt,dishonest,greedy and self centred.

  • 1
    0

    Govt. In Deeper Crisis, As SriLankan Unable To Pay $ 1 Billion Debt
    RAnil and Ravi PONNA VESA
    What are they talking abt this shit? EXPLAIN!

  • 1
    0

    IF this continues ranil and ravi will be brought in to justice and you both will end up in JAIL until your death like the rajavassas.

  • 1
    0

    Do nothing. Take massive loans. Let the economic growth slump to the floor. Let the stock market crash. Let India overtake our GDP per capita. Give our jobs to the Indians. Promote separatism. Sell all enterprises to westerners. This is the story of good governance.

  • 0
    0

    This regime to making us sick with this news.Why are they so extravagant while the people are suffering?
    Three days ago the inland revenue guys ascended into my business and harassed my very sick sister, though have a award for paying my taxes. Truly shameful when people are allowed to intrude like this.
    This will never happen in a true Buddhist country like UK, where true tolerance and courtesies are practised.

  • 0
    1

    MORE MONEY NEEDED

    As far as we know, the country is facing an extremely serious financial crisis. If there is a serious fire somewhere, the fire brigade needs more vehicles to deploy to put it out. At that time no one should complain about them requesting more money for the purchase of additional new fire trucks.

    That is why I say we should all cooperate to give our government not only additional new vehicles but additional new manpower, womanpower, massage clinics, healthy food in abundance and last but not least more money to find more money.

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