No move to defeat budget: UNP backbenchers | Sunday Observer

No move to defeat budget: UNP backbenchers

Refuting speculation in the political grapevine that some UNP backbenches have formed a group to revolt against the party, UNP Ratnapura District Parliamentarian Hesha Withanage said that their campaign was not to disrupt the Government, but to put it on the right track so that the Government could execute its development priorities to pass development dividends to the people within one-and-a-half years of its tenure.

“As backbenches, it is our duty to protect the Government which survived the recent constitutional coup with much difficulty, and is committed to heralding a new era under the leadership of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The rationale behind our efforts is not to disrupt the Government’s plans as speculated by the Joint Opposition, but to ensure the implementation of the Government’s development priorities under the purview of different ministries,” MP Withanage told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said ministerial portfolios have been given to a few Ministers who were rather slow in performing their duties during the past three-and-a-half years, and as a result, the Government had to lag behind its strategies.

Unless the Ministers are galvanised into action, we will find it difficult to harvest the benefits of the economic policy prescriptions of the Government. The backbenches stressed the urgency of replacing certain Ministers who have outlived their efficiency and usefulness in producing tangible results of their ministry development programs. It is time to pump new blood to give a new lease of life to the Government so that fresh efforts could be made to deliver on election promises made to the people of the country.

Backbenchers have told the Prime Minister that unless action is taken against the Ministers who have failed in their performance, they have decided to remain independent when the vote on their ministries is taken during the Budget debate.

“However, the Prime Minister has given a positive response to our request assuring us that he would look into it,” Withanage said.

“We would bring the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister when the UNP Parliamentary Group meets on January 8,” he said.

MP Withnage said that they had only seven backbenchers when they launched their campaign, but today it has reached 18.

“Our intention is to act as a pressure group to push the Government in the right direction,” he said.