By Naalir Jamaldeen
UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that when the country is facing a severe economic crisis the Government must introduce a social security system to safeguard the people who have been severely impacted.
Participating in a political talk show, hosted by a private TV channel, Wickremesinghe said the Government must go for a welfare-oriented budget from a development budget, to provide more relief to the public at a time when they are facing severe livelihood and economic crises. “A new budget must be formulated to resolve this issue. Limiting the budget only for essential purposes the rest of the money must be used to provide relief to public,” the UNP Leader added.
He further stated that according to his knowledge the economy had collapsed after the end of the war. “Attention had not been paid on fundamental issues. The financial issues started to emerge in the country by 2013, 2014. Our Government too happened to resolve this issue.
When we approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) they agreed for primary budget, excluding the payment of debts. We took several steps to resolve this issue increasing the income tax and VAT. We had done a considerable contribution to the growth of the economy until the election held in 2019. The new Government reduced the income tax and VAT which we had increased. Today Sri Lanka has turned into a country which receives low income from tax. After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic we didn’t seek the assistance of the IMF. Other issues started to emerge in the country along with this issue. Today the country has been plunged into severe economic crisis,” Wickremesinghe said.