While stating that the expected dividend from the SriLankan Airlines was reduced from Rs.500 million this year to Rs. 100 million next year, the JVP said in parliament that the Government was planning to privatise the SriLankan Airline totally.
JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake joining the budget debate in the House on Friday expressed suspicion that there was an underhand deal to sell off the stake of SriLankan Air Lines held by the government.
The JVP MP also charged that the government was trying to disrupt the independent commissions that had been appointed in accordance with the 17th amendment of the constitution by slashing the allocations. He said that in this year`s budget the amount allocated for the Construction Reforms Commission had been reduced from Rs.16 million to Rs 9 million, while the amount allocated for the judicial service commission was reduced by 30%.
The amount allocated for this was reduced from Rs. 36 million to Rs. 26 million this year. Mr. Ratnayake said the amount allocated for the police commission was also reduced by 25% this year and that the amount for police commission was reduced from Rs. 60 million to Rs. 46 million.
`These commissions will die a natural death with the slashing of allocations,` he said. The JVP MP explained that the allocation made for education had been slashed in the same way. He said the government should increase the amount allocated for increasing the number of year 5 scholarships from Rs. 10,000 to 15,000 up to Rs 412 million, from Rs. 275 million last year but it had only allocated an extra amount of Rs.120 million.
Citing another example, he said although the government promised to increase the university intake no allocation had been made for it. Mr. Ratnayake also explained that, although the President promised many things in his budget speech no allocation had made for any of these. He said the amount allocated for youth was nominal, as a youth would get only Rs. 650/= while it was the same with the school children. He also charged that Rs. 8 billion had been allocated to woo MPs to the government side.
Citing the other shortcomings in the budget he said out of the amount allocated to the ministries quarter was kept aside for the expenses of the ministers. He pointed out that major percentages of the ministers should have been allocated for the auditing purposes of the government.
He warned that the country would face difficulties next year as the loans obtained for the Mahaweli project would have to be settled by next year. The JVP also pointed out that the government`s plan to borrow Rs 708 billion from foreign countries would shoot up the interest rates.