Budget 2021 will be development oriented | Sunday Observer

Budget 2021 will be development oriented

1 November, 2020

The 2021 Budget will focus on macroeconomic fundamentals such as debt protection, boosting foreign reserve and strengthening the Rupee, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms, Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Sunday Observer Business on Friday.

The government will also focus on facilitating new ventures with substantial investments through its first budget that will be presented in Parliament on November 17, he said.

“We as a government focus on maintaining a healthy business environment, job creation and addressing national issues. Hence the next budget will be development oriented while ensuring the progression of the people,” the State Minister elaborated.  The Government has succeeded in providing hundreds of thousand employment opportunities to those at the bottom of the society in the past few months, while recruiting 60,000 graduates to the public service. Also the concessions granted to the business sector will be continued in the coming years as well.“Cutting down taxes and maintaining low interest rates are the biggest concessions, government has provided people. Lowering interest rates is a much bigger relief than reducing the price of a gas cylinder or coconut.

I would like it if people concentrate on such reliefs,” the State Minister said. Also the government is eyeing allocating funds to provide sustainable solutions to several national level issues, including the human-elephant conflict.  

“During the election campaign, I travelled around the country and understood that 14 districts in Sri Lanka face the human-elephant conflict. From next year’s budget, we have paid attention to resolving that issue too,” Cabraal said.

Asked about the recent visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the country and his discussion with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the State Minister denied all allegations made by the Opposition of a secret agreement between Sri Lanka and the US on the MCC and SOFA agreements.

“Our government’s stance on MCC and SOFA is very clear. We will not enter into any agreement which has terms that are not acceptable to the country,” he stressed.