Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Harsha De Silva says the Budget tabled by Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa contains untrustworthy figures.
Commencing the second reading debate on the 2022 Budget in Parliament, MP de Silva said the present administration has failed, as no proposals were presented by the Finance Minister to bridge the budget deficit.
MP Harsha De Silva said the government during its previous term, presented bogus figures and mutated economic indicators.
He accused the administration of publishing one set of figures at the beginning of 2021 claiming the budget deficit was 8.9%, and yesterday claimed the budget deficit increased to 11.1% of the Gross Domestic product.
He said the budget deficit would increase by a further 2% within the year.
He added that people were suffering, unable to secure three meals a day.
In response Minister Bandula Gunawardana said criticism over budget proposals would result in delayed economic development.
The Minister said the Finance Minister could make statements over political motives to increase state sector salaries, but in reality, would be unable to source funds to pay employees.
The Minister said unwise government’s arbitrarily increased salaries, resulting in an increased money supply and disposable income, bringing around increased demand for goods and services.
However, the Trade Minister said an inflationary gap would be created through the increase in prices of goods to deal with the sudden increase in demand.
He said salary increments and prices of goods were proportionately increasing when a single figure changes.
Minister Gunawardena called on the government to create a high-level debate in Parliament on policies to manage the economy.
SLPP Parliamentarian Shantha Bandara said Minister Basil Rajapaksa was similar to a modern-day Robin Hood.
He said people were not burdened by this year’s Budget, as the Finance Minister proposed to legally focus on taxing high profit-making entities during the pandemic.
MP Bandara added such organisations were inclined to pay taxes to the government as they were using the infrastructure ensured to all entities through the government using public funds.