Government insists development not suspended

highway expresswayThe Government today insisted that development work has not been suspended and that the treasury had already released Rs 11900 million rupees to continue the ongoing projects at district level of which Rs 9000 million was paid for the projects that were completed.

The Finance Ministry said that in pursuance of the good governance concept introduced by the new government by alleviating the corruption and fraud that prevailed during the last ten years of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, the total government revenue during the first quarter of the year 2015 has increased by 16.4 percent to Rs 285.6 billion.

Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake elaborating on the economic performances of the new government said in a statement that the reforms and good management practices brought in to the public sector   the government revenue has increased to Rs 285.6 billion in the first quarter of 2015 from 245.2 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2014.

This he says is a reflection of increase in both tax revenue by Rs 30 billion and non tax revenue by Rs 10.5 billion, largely due to action taken to arrest tax evading and the importation of goods illegally by influential person with the patronage of politicians during the past regime.

Karunanayake said that corruption was rampant due to nepotism and cronyism in all sectors of the economy and it was a common occurrence in the past to import ethanol into the country in large quantity in an illegal manner depriving the country of its tax revenue. Since the new government has completely blocked the illegal import of ethanol, the tax revenue siphoned off by the cronies of the past rulers is now added to the state coffers.

“As a result the excise revenue alone has increased by Rs 6000 million per month”, the Minister Ravi Karunanayake said in a statement.

The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his buddies ruined the economy of the country by letting their henchmen to plunder the public wealth. Since they have now become politically bankrupt, in this period of elections they are issuing malicious statements to deceive the masses saying that development is at standstill, but the minister emphatically said that the people who rejected the corrupt rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 08, Presidential election will not be deceived once again on August 17.

Karunanayake emphasized  that the new government under the UPFA leader Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe  has neither halted nor terminated any development projects in the country. The treasury has already released Rs 11900 million rupees to continue the ongoing projects at district level. Of which Rs 9000 million was paid for the projects that were completed.

The previous government’s excessive public expenditure and the expansion of infrastructure facilities with foreign loans under higher interest rates shot up the growth rate but there was no economic development to pay any dividend to the masses. Therefore, the new government in order to liberate the people inclusive of the public servants from this misconception of the quantitative growth brought qualitative change in their life style by increasing the public sector salary by Rs 10,000 and bringing down the prices of essential goods including fuel and gas. These concessions given by the new government within its first 100 days has provided an ordinary family a monthly saving of Rs twenty thousand.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa government boasted with much fun fan  of increasing the agricultural economy. Though Sri Lanka has opportunities for the direct use of the natural  resources to stimulate the agro-economy the past records show the agro sector had the diminishing return to the economy. The contribution of the agriculture  sector to the GDP has gradually diminished during the last ten years.

According to central bank report the total national paddy production has decreased by 26.8 percent in 2014 to 3.38 million metric tons. Similarly the total revenue of the government which was at 20 percent in the year 2005, has gradually come down up to 12.2 percent last year. Even the contribution by the agricultural sector to the GDP has come down considerably during the last ten years making both the agricultural and the manufacturing economy to a status of no returns.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke said that the wrong economic policies by the previous government embedded with corruption and frauds  resulted in the continuous deterioration of the government revenue and the agro based economy as well. Therefore the minister concluded that the people who rejected the Mahinda Rajapaksa government for its wrong doings and corrupt practices in the January 08 election will reject them once again on August 17. (Colombo Gazette)