Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa says the proposed taxes on goods will not include any essential items.
He explained the new trade taxes will include products such as gambling and liquor.
Speaking to media at the Government Information Department today, the Minister said people may take undue advantage of the proposed taxes, if such information is released publicly.
He cited the cigarette shortage in the market as an example. However, the Finance Minister assured that essential consumer goods will not be taxed.
When questioned by media over the failure by the government to decrease prices of goods, Minister Rajapaksa said increasing prices of goods has been an issue since 1947, which no government has proposed to decrease.
He added prices could be decreased only through an increase in supply.
He claimed that certain individuals who do not use products such as gas will not receive those concessions.
Therefore, the Finance Ministry proposed that monetary coupons will be given to such individuals as concessions.
The Minister noted it will be subject to a condition where 50% of that sum must be spent on local goods and services.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa said the Budget proposal for Members of Parliament requiring to remain an MP for at least 10 years in order to be eligible for a monthly pension in future, was proposed by government MPs.
The Minister said according to current provisions, MPs are eligible for a monthly pension after a five-year term.
He said 40% of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna included new members, and added that expectations were high for their performance in politics.
Minister Rajapaksa claimed young members of the SLPP will be elected to Parliament after the next election to complete their 10 years of service.
The Finance Minister also claimed they will remove all legal barriers for the government, to absorb the entire tax amount charged on the sale of cigarettes.
He said the taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar represent suggestions by health authorities.
However, the Finance Minister said sugar taxes will not be amended.