The second reading debate of Budget 2021 is expected to commence this morning (November 18) at the Parliament.
The debate will go on for four days and the vote on the second reading is scheduled for November 21st at 5.00 pm. Parliament sittings from the 18th to the 20th will take place between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm.
The debate of the Committee Stage will commence on the 23rd of November and is scheduled to conclude on 10th of December. Accordingly, the vote will be held at 5.00 pm on the 10th of December.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, presented the second reading of the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2021 in Parliament yesterday (17).
Under the new budget proposal, the estimated Government revenue for 2021 is Rs. 1,961 billion and the total Government expenditure is Rs. 3,525 billion and as such the difference between the revenue and the expenditure is Rs. 1,564 billion.
Government plans to maintain the budget gap at 9 percent of the GDP and the expected economic growth rate for 2021 is 5.5 percent, the Premier said in conclusion of the budget speech.
The traditional tea party hosted by the Minister of Finance was held following the presentation of the budget speech, however, it was limited to the Members of Parliament, Ministers, Ambassadors and invitees.
Among the lawmakers who commented on the Budget 2021, was SJB MP Harsha de Silva who said the government has tabled an impractical, weak budget proposal.
Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, meanwhile, said the government has presented a budget proposal that can boost domestic production and build a robust economy free of import dependence.
The Chairman of COPE Prof. Charitha Herath noted that this budget is a plan to implement the President’s policy statement.
MP Sarath Fonseka stated that the recent budget proposal has not made sufficient allocation of funds or new plans to strengthen national security.
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