The main opposition UNP yesterday said next year would be a tough one for the country financially as the total loan instalments and interest would exceed the total government revenue for the first time in the country s history.
UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference the country s total loan instalments and interest would be Rs. 850 billion compared to the projected government revenue of Rs. 650 billion in 2010.
He said the case was the same this year as the current total loan instalment and interest was a staggering Rs. 725 billion against the current government revenue of Rs. 678 billion. He made this point citing latest Central Bank reports on the country s economic status.
The UNP MP said the government refrained from bringing a budget this year because of this reason. The government cannot give any incentive to the people in this situation and that is why it avoided a budget and brought a vote on account instead, he pointed out.
Stating that the economy had suffered terribly, Mr. Kiriella said 150,000 jobs had been lost in the industrial sector alone while tourism and exports had also deteriorated.
The government should either increase its revenue by Rs 250 billion or decrease the expenditure by the same amount to bring down the budget deficit to 4% of the GDP as prescribed by the IMF.
Quoting President Mahinda Rajapaksa he said the country would lose US $ 150 million if it did not get the GSP plus incentive. However he said the actual amount that is going to be lost was Rs 1 billion.