Interim Budget passed


By Saman Indrajith

The interim budget presented by President Ranil Wickremeisnghe in his capacity as Finance Minister was passed in Parliament with the majority of 115 votes yesterday.

The interim budget proposals titled Appropriation (Amendment) bill was passed with 120 voting for and five members voting against while 43 MPs abstained from voting. JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath, Dr Harini Amarasuriya and TNA’s GG Ponnambalam and Selvarajah Kajendran voted against the budget. The SJB and a SLPP dissidents abstained at the vote.

SJB MP Thushara Indunil Amarasena and SLPP dissident group leader MP Prof G L Peiris announced hours before the vote that they would abstain from voting.

Prof Peiris said that the interim budget presented by Wickremesinghe, who is also Finance Minister, contains many “negative” proposals that are harmful to Sri Lanka. Prof Peiris He said while his group of independent MPs do not intend in any way to scuttle Sri Lanka’s ongoing talks with the IMF.

“We did not get an opportunity express our views on the contents of this interim budget. Taking all this into account, we have decided to abstain from voting this evening,” he said.

MP Amarasena said the interim budget document contains no proposals the SJB can support, but though there are grounds for opposing it, the party won’t be so cruel as to send the wrong message to the world vis-à-vis the government.

“As a party, we have decide to neither support nor oppose President Wickremesinghe’s budget and to abstain from voting instead,” he said.The vote on interim budget was taken at 5.30 pm after a four day debate. President Wickremesinghe in his capacity as Minister of Finance on Tuesday (Aug 30), presented the budget proposals.

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