Budget to focus on production-based economy | Sunday Observer
Underprivileged segments to benefit

Budget to focus on production-based economy

12 September, 2021

The forthcoming Budget will focus on a production-based economy, said Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, adding that it would especially benefit the underprivileged segments in society. Minister Rajapaksa said after the successful completion of the Government’s vaccination drive, the Government will achieve the key targets set out in the Budget and offer benefits to the common masses.

The minister told a meeting with State media heads on Friday, September 10, that the Budget would formulate an action plan as to how lands and resources could be used in a more effective manner. The Minister said at present there is no conducive environment to create a production-based economy as the people have mentally collapsed and face hardships due to the pandemic. The media has a vital role to play to build the mindset of the people to overcome this crisis.

He said there are two essential components to be addressed to overcome the pandemic. If the vaccination program is successful, half of the issues will be sorted out. However, if the people don’t maintain self-discipline and adhere to the health guidelines, the vaccination drive alone cannot bring the anticipated results. People should follow the instructions by the health authorities. Minister Rajapaksa said amid the severe economic hardships faced by the Government due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has no intention whatsoever to curtail the salaries of public servants and pensioners.

The Minister said the Government has decided to continue all production, construction work and other development as planned in accordance with the President’s “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” National policy framework. The Minister said sensitivity is not a weakness. As the Government is sensitive, it would seriously consider the views expressed by all sectors when certain decisions are taken. He said certain circulars that were issued were changed due to the sensitivity of the Government and not due to weakness. “It is a clear reflection as to how the Government led by the President and the Prime Minister are sensitive to the issues of the people,” he said.

Minister Rajapaksa said that although his view was that the country should not be closed at this juncture, the decision to lockdown the country was taken following the requests of the Maha Sangha, medical experts and others due to the sensitive nature of the Government. However, the Minister said the closure of the country has made it much easier to control the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the decision had led to a drop in the number of Covid-19 patients and deaths.

Minister Rajapaksa said the Government will give incentives to the business and commercial sectors through the forthcoming Budget.