16th November 2016
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued on behalf of the Central Committee of
the Party the following statement on the Budget for 2017.
The Budget for the Year 2017 put forward by the present government led by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe referred to as the “Good Governance Regime” exposes its true essence and the wrong direction in which it is heading. The Budget contains proposals for further expansion of the foreign import-based economy at the expense of an economy based on agriculture, small industry, fishery and local production. The Budget, thus, paves the way to closely bind the whole country and its economy with neo-colonial, neo-liberal globalization.
The Budget has been drafted with liberalized trade, privatization, and welcoming of finance capital as the basic economic policy. As a result, the toiling masses including workers and peasants and the lower middle classes face economic suffocation and starvation. Meanwhile, the Budget offers tax concessions and benefits to the upper crust of society comprising ten percent of the population and the comprador capitalists, foreign investors and big businesses associated with them, and to the political forces of the ruling classes that safeguard their interests. Thus there is no doubt that the budget that is being currently debated in parliament is an anti-people budget, and the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party strongly opposes it.
The Budget has been designed to conform to conditions laid down by the IMF as a requirement to provide a loan of 1.5 billion US Dollars as well as to attract foreign investors and finance capital. Indirect taxes that are to be levied, especially the 15% VAT, to reduce the budget deficit will subject the entire toiling masses to sever difficulty in their day to day life. While minimal financial allocations have been made towards agriculture, small industry and fishery, allocation has been curtailed
for the educational and health sectors, whose privatization has been given inducements.
The Finance Minister has proposed drastic increases in the taxes for mobile telephones, tariff for water supply and penalties for traffic offences among others. Thus this budget can be viewed as one which will directly and indirectly wreck the toiling masses and the lower middle classes.
Thus the Budget demonstrates that this government does not constitute a regime of good governance but is an anti-people government, and the Party appeals to the people of the country to strongly oppose it.