The 22nd Minister of Finance, Basil Rajapaksa, has held 102 discussions with various parties to prepare his inaugural budget to be presented to Parliament on Friday (12).
These discussions have taken place with Cabinet and State Ministries and Ministers, Members of Parliament, representatives of political authorities, District and Regional Secretaries, representatives of the World Bank, the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank, as well as foreign diplomats.
In addition, public consultation meetings have been held in 14,022 Grama Niladhari Divisions on the instructions of Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to obtain the views of the public in preparing the current budget.
This year’s budget is the 76th to be presented to Parliament and the second in the government of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Alcohol and cigarettes price hike based on price formula
Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, has said that the price formula for alcohol and cigarettes will increase after the budget in accordance with the pricing formula.
Meanwhile, the finance minister has said that despite the difficulties the government has to face due to the Covid 19 epidemic, there will be no salary cuts for public servants and pensioners, media reports said.
The media has also reported that it is planned to collect large amounts through taxes through the budget for the year 2022 due to the government’s income declining heavily.
It was also reported that this year’s budget will also limit the increase in salaries or subsidies.
However, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa had recently said that this year’s budget would not provide relief to the people but would have to be taken from the people.