|UNP and DNA to
vote against budget 2011
health and education ‘very low’: Tissa Attanayake
The main UNP and the DNA both will vote against
Budget 2011 as it “has hardly anything in it for the
UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake said the
budget had only catered to the ‘super rich’, while
dishing out a few crumbs to the masses, who are
struggling to survive.
Attanayake said the budget did not provide for
investments, nor had it addressed the issue of a
long overdue decent salary hike for public servants.
The government has conveniently forgotten the
pledges made during the last parliamentary and
presidential elections and given a token salary
increase computed under a very confusing method, he
Attanayake said allocations for vital sectors such
as health and education are very low, which goes to
prove that this was a budget catering to the
UNP National List MP D M Swaminathan, meanwhile,
told parliament that the budget proposals 2011 were
riddled with errors.
He said there was a provision of a penal liability
introduced for auditors and tax practitioners who
misused statutory provision of any act or regulation
of any provisions therein.
This provision was completely unethical and
unwarranted from a professional point of view, he
said during the debate on the second reading of the
“How can any authority question any interpretation
by a professional stating that his interpretation
regarding the tax liability has been
misinterpreted?” he asked.
The budget proposals, he said, had a provision to
write off unpaid tax liabilities up to March 2009 of
all enterprises with a turnover below Rs100 million.
He said: “This provision is contrary to the
Supreme Court decision that an earlier amnesty that
was available and introduced by the UNP was
unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court order of the
earlier amnesty provided to the tax payers was
unconstitutional, in what context could this
provision to set-off tax liability be enforceable?
There are provisions to be made under section 170
subsection 7 of the Inland Revenue Act, where the
Court shall order the appellant tax payers to pay
the full tax in dispute or put them of pending the
determination of the appeal in the relevant courts
in Sri Lanka. This provision is extremely
unsatisfactory, whereas when an appeal is pending in
a court of law regarding a tax dispute the appellant
tax payer will have to pay the department the amount
of tax in dispute.”
Now that the war is over there cannot be any
reason to increase the defence budget by Rs13
billion for 2011, the MP said.
MP Swaminathan also said that in the run-up to the
last presidential election, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa had assured a salary increase of Rs2,500
per month to the public servants. More funds had
been allocated to the Defence Ministry at the
expense of the public servants, he said.
Participating in the budget debate, TNA MP Suresh
Premachandran said the displaced people are still
not resettled and the region is destroyed.
“The schools are abandoned and the public life has
collapsed. We can see that there is a plan to
destroy the culture of the area. Kovils are
destroyed and the cultural identity of the people is
also destroyed. There is a large Buddha statue
situated near a Kovil. But these temples are
established in areas where there are no Buddhists.
We object to that,” he added
He also alleged that the budget presented is racial
and was aimed at destroying the Tamil culture.
“This budget has not given any concession to the
ordinary people. More money is allocated for
DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti said the monies collected
from the new funds for pensioners, private sector
employees and migrant workers as envisaged in this
budget will go into the consolidated fund and will
not be utilised for the activities of the relevant
Ministries. This budget is meant to collect money to
resurrect the Treasury and not the people.
“The Treasury was more bankrupt than the people in
this country today thanks to the economic policies
of the Government. The Government was promised to
give salary hike for the public servants during the
interim budget for 2009. But it failed in giving a
sufficient salary hike for public servants through
the Budget 2010,” he added.