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FLSP says government will not introduce an interim budget

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Frontline Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda stated that the government was not going to introduce an interim budget on January 29. Instead, it has planned to reduce the prices of certain essential goods through a special announcement to the parliament by the Minister of Finance.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today, Jayagoda said that this has been discussed at the recent party leaders’ meeting in parliament. The opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva has requested a debate on this statement and the debate will be held in January 30, he added.

He also added that Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella has confirmed this with the Janarala newspaper for its January 25 issue.

Jayagoda said that the government has already reduced the prices of petroleum and it was a positive move to reduce the prices of essential goods. However, the government has said that it is losing tax revenue through these steps. If so, an interim budget is needed to explain how revenue is earned to replace the loss in tax income, he stressed.

If tax releases are given through a special statement instead of a budget, they could easily be reapplied whenever the government wants, Jayagoda explained. If they are done through a budget, it is not as easy as that to repeal the tax concessions, he added.

Furthermore, the government should also explain the tax policy to the public, Jayagoda stressed. The current policy is that 80 percent of the tax revenue is earned from the poor people. The government has to explain if this will change. For this to happen, an interim budget proposal is essential, Jayagoda pointed out.

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