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Thursday April 18th, 2024

Budget 2021 presents same old, failed neoliberal policies in new words: Harini

NPP MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya

ECONOMYNEXT – Budget 2021 presents the same old, failed neoliberal economic policies couched in new words and will only benefit a privileged few, National People’s Power (NPP) parliamentarian Dr Harini Amarasuriya said.

The MP told parliament today that the various proposals in the budget for a national economy, a production economy and for strengthening the public service contain no real solutions for the crisis brought about by the capitalist system itself and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Solutions for the crisis, she said, cannot be found in band-aid proposals, empty rhetoric or statistical gimmickry.

When looking at how the proposals contained in Budget 2021 may be implemented, Amarasuriya said, a lot of it turns out to be mere words.

“What we need is a structural change. it doesn’t look like we’re going for such a change,” she said.

The MP further said that the same old ideas have been presented in new words. For example, she said, the proposed tax reforms in Budget 2021 will only serve to benefit an elite business community that emerged out of capitalism facilitated by neoliberal economic policy and not the small and medium entrepreneurs of this country.

“We see that they are again going to rely on that hackneyed idea of trickle-down economics, a principle of neoliberal capitalism. Over the decades, we have seen that this trickle-down system does not work. it is a failure,” she said.

Amarasuriya said successive governments have for years been playing with macroeconomic indicators to paint a different picture of the state of the economy.

“How do we decide that an economic policy is working? The best metric for this is to look at how it affects the lives of ordinary people. The policies and statistics we debate here are different from the ground reality we see when we step outside of parliament,” she said.

For example, she said, despite a budget proposal to increase estate workers’ daily wage to Rs 1,000, tea estate owners have expressed their opposition to such a move.

Amarasuriya also challenged the proposal to allow public sector workers to engage in additional employment of their choice after work hours.

“Is this an acceptance that one job is not enough for a person to get by? What will result from these policies? How will it affect family life? What will happen to their relationships when they’re compelled to work all day?” she said. (Colombo/Nov18/2020)

Comments (4)

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  1. Yasalalaka says:

    Can the good lady tell us what policies work in her opinion?

    1. Kalindu says:

      Not really, critics of capitalism don’t present any proven and viable alternatives

  2. Garvin karunaratne says:

    My book: How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka and Alternative Programmes of Success, Godages, 2006 provides ample details of the failed neoliberal plolicies followed since 1977.
    Garvin Karunaratne

  3. Siva says:

    Budget proposal to increase estate worker’s daily wage to Rs.1000/- is going to affect fmr govt tamil MPs in the area ( now opposition) very,very badly in future !
    This is the public point of view from all over the country. Credit goes to a single person Jeevan.T
    They have also lost one nationalist MP to a defected SJB party member.

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Comments (4)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Yasalalaka says:

    Can the good lady tell us what policies work in her opinion?

    1. Kalindu says:

      Not really, critics of capitalism don’t present any proven and viable alternatives

  2. Garvin karunaratne says:

    My book: How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka and Alternative Programmes of Success, Godages, 2006 provides ample details of the failed neoliberal plolicies followed since 1977.
    Garvin Karunaratne

  3. Siva says:

    Budget proposal to increase estate worker’s daily wage to Rs.1000/- is going to affect fmr govt tamil MPs in the area ( now opposition) very,very badly in future !
    This is the public point of view from all over the country. Credit goes to a single person Jeevan.T
    They have also lost one nationalist MP to a defected SJB party member.

Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

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Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent down from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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