Sri Lanka crisis proved parliament had control of finances: PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has presented an interim budget for the first four months of 2019 to parliament Friday following the delay of a full budget due to a political crisis, where Mahinda Rajapaksa was suddenly appointed the Prime Minister on October 26.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the crisis firmly established that parliament had full control of finances.

However several taxes were changed by Rajapaksa through mid-night gazette without approval of parliament.

Taxation by gazette was originally introduced by British rulers when there was no parliament.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the interim vote on account would allow the government to make payment for various programs and also repay debt.

The finance ministry had said that the vote-on-account will have allocations for 480 billion rupees of current spending and 310 billion rupees of capital spending.

The vote-on-account will also have provisions for 970 billion rupees in debt service. (Colombo/Dec21/2018)

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