Monthly rent for unused building higher than amount allocated for Buddhist library – JVP


By Saman Indrajith

Budget 2018 was nothing but further continuation of open economic policies and a plan for perpetuation of waste and corruption to help the government’s cronies, the JVP said yesterday.

Participating in the second reading stage debate on budget proposals, JVP Kalutara District MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said: "The Agriculture Minister has rented a building from one of his friends. The building is not being used but its monthly rental is paid. The monthly rental is equal to the amount allocated by the Budget 2018 to build a Buddhist library. The amount proposed for the establishing an insurance scheme for the artistes by the Budget 2018 is equal to the rent for 12 days. The allocation for a maternity and child care unit in the President’s Polonnaruwa District is equal to two months rent for Sabeetha’s building. Those allocations show the nature of the budget.

The 40-year-old open economy is no longer attractive. It is feeble and weak. Six years after the introduction of the open economic policies our exports fetched one billion US dollars. Imports were at two billion US dollars. Today, imports account for USD 20 billion while the export income stagnates at USD 10 billion. We have been losing foreign exchange.

The open economy weakened the state machinery. Public ventures are being disposed of. The wrong impression is given to the pubic that state institutions are a burden on the country.

Open economy is not all that bad but the way we adopted it for our country was wrong. A closed economy would not help us achieve progress, but it is wrong to open every aspect of the economy. For example, the government brings down the prices of beer, thinking that would help discourage using of moonshine by people. In practice that would not happen that way. We call upon the government to withdraw the proposal to bring down the prices of beer." 

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