Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared opened the new session of Parliament at a time Sri Lanka is facing its worst financial and political crisis.
Speaking during the adjournment in Parliament today, former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said President Rajapaksa while delivering the policy statement only highlighted the current foreign exchange crisis.
The former Premier said Sri Lanka is facing bigger issues than what the President highlighted in his speech.
Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe also questioned as to why the government did not include budgetary allocations for the concessions it had promised to hand the public.
The former Prime Minister said although the government passed an Appropriation Bill with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 2796.4 billion in December it has requested further Rs. 229 million from Parliament in a matter of days after the passing of the budget.
Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said although the government claimed it will not table supplementary estimates, it has already sought additional funding in the month of January.
The former Premier stressed that the country has a budget deficit of Rs.1,000 billion and the present government without detailing its plans on how it will bridge the deficit has requested for more funding.
The former Prime Minister therefore requested the government to reveal as to how it will fund the concession it has promised to grant the public.
Meanwhile, commenting on the introduction of the Special Goods and Services Tax Bill, former Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe said no country charges both GST and the Value Added Tax.
The UNP Leader said low-income earners, Samurdhi beneficiaries and small-scale businesses will be severely hit by the new tax bill.
The former Premier said the government will impose two taxes on a majority of products which will burden the average Sri Lankans.
The former Premier said the government instead of coming up with stop-gap measures should propose measured short and medium term solutions to the current financial crisis.