The second reading of the Budget has been passed in Parliament with a majority of 63 votes.
The Budget was presented in Parliament to seek approval for the implementation of many development programmes. The Budget was passed with a majority of 63 votes. 138 members voted in favour of the Budget while 75 votes were cast against it. 11 members were not present in the House. The Budget was presented to the House by Acting Finance Minsiter Dr. Sarath Amunugama on the 29th of last month. The Budget debate continued for four days. The voting commenced under the patronage of the Speaker at around 4.45 this afternoon. The Speaker had to conduct the vote in the midst of severe obstructions from the Opposition.
Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva winding up the debate on behalf of the Government said that the Government was able to direct the country towards development due to its prudent economic management. Poverty has declined. Unemployment had also declined. The Minister said that in comparison to developed countries the unemployment rate has declined up to five percent.
The debate on the Second Reading of the Budget concluded today with the vote being taken up. Committee Stage discussions of the Budget will begin on Monday.