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Budget Speech 2013

Budget Speech 2013

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Published by deranapics

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Published by: deranapics on Nov 08, 2012
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10/07/2013

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1
THE BUDGET SPEECH 2013
1.
 
Introduction
1.1
 
Honorable Speaker, I am pleased to present the 8
th
Budget of ourGovernment to this august assembly. I am humbly proud that ourGovernment has been able to place this country on a path of peace,reconciliation and development based on
 Mahinda Chintana
Visionfor the Future, having obtained the confidence of this House for 7consecutive annual Budgets.1.2 This Budget is presented in the backdrop of three important events.First, this Parliament successfully sponsored the 58
th
CommonwealthParliamentary Conference. It gave the visiting parliamentarians tosee for themselves how our country has shifted from conflict, topeace and reconciliation. They would have also been convinced thatthe LTTE propaganda campaign carried out overseas to tarnish ourcountry’s image is baseless. I thank the Honorable Speaker, theHonorable Leader of the Opposition, the Party Leaders and theHonorable Members of Parliament for uniting to rise to this occasion,leaving their political differences behind.1.3 Second, we are here after concluding Provincial Council Elections inthree distinctly different provinces. The three provinces representone fourth of the population. All parties contested and showedconfidence in democracy. Elections were peaceful. It was a good testfor all parties and candidates to test the acceptability of theirstanding on issues. It was a good mid-term test for the Governmentof its policies and development strategies. The Government is
 
2
encouraged that people from all communities have continued toplace their overwhelming confidence in its work, in spite of droughtaffected living conditions. We are also encouraged that the people inthe Eastern Province placed their confidence in the Governmentappreciating resettlement, rehabilitation and re-construction workdone in that province.1.4 Upholding our commitment to transform the Northern Province on asimilar line, the Government has implemented many developmentinitiatives. People have got back to normal family living without thefear of having to lose their children to the LTTE. Access to electricity,education, water, and health facilities is improving rapidly. Bankingand financial institutions have been expanded.
Samurdhi
Programhas been expanded providing benefits to eligible families. Childrenenjoy educational tours, visiting the South. They also visit ‘TempleTrees’ and talk to me as well.I see new hope in their faces.1.5 There is a strong enthusiasm in the northern people to find economicprosperity in the newly found environment. The people in the Northappreciate the implementation of Jaffna - Kilinochchi water supplyscheme that provides drinking water to 70,000 families. They are alsoenthusiastic on the
 Moragahakanda
irrigation scheme which takeswater to the
Iranamadu
tank. I was encouraged with the level ofparticipation of local representatives at the district consultationmeetings I had prior to this Budget. We remain firmly committed toconduct Provincial Council Elections next year, to facilitatedemocratic representations to promote peace and development.
 
3
1.6 Third, this Parliament passed the Local Authorities (SpecialProvisions) Bill and the Local Authorities (Amendment) Bill,unanimously. This will permit people in local authority areas to elect60 percent of their representatives on the basis of a vote system andthe balance on a proportionate system.This will enable people tohave direct contacts with their electoral representatives on mattersconcerning their electorate. I also hope this new system will eliminateunnecessary spending and personal animosities among politicalcandidates.
2.
 
A Review of the 2006 - 2010 First Five Year Plan Strategy
2.1 Honorable Speaker, the first five year development strategy covering2006 to 2010 that centered around
 Mahinda Chintana
Towards a NewSri Lanka; was implemented in the midst of a brutal terrorist conflictin the north that existed for nearly three decades. It cost us manyvaluable lives, resources and opportunities. The country was ruledthrough emergency regulations even denying basic freedom of thepeople. Economy suffered from depleted infrastructure. Resourcesfrom the Budget to reduce poverty and provide support toagriculture had to be curtailed. Rural roads, irrigation, electricity andwater had not been expanded to uplift the rural economy. No capitalinfusions could be made to maintain efficient functioning of stateenterprises. The public service delivery mechanism weakened.Unplanned liberalization initiatives marginalized local enterprises.The Budget deficit was high and debt had risen in excess of GDP.Inflation, unemployment and poverty were high. Our country was alagging nation in a highly globalized economy.

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