The 2020 Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament this evening  without a vote.

The Bill was taken up for debate following the budget speech presented by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Prime Minister said the policy of the government  is to change the disastrous socio-economic path that the country has embarked on in the last five years.

“If the country is to achieve economic independence then it is mandatory that we change course. It is the responsibility of our government to reduce the income expenditure gap to 4 percent of GDP by 2025 which now stands at nearly 10 percent and to reduce the overall debt to GDP to 75 percent of GDP within the next 4 years,” he said.

Rajapaksa said that a  market economy that is dependent only on tea and apparels, with imports that is twice that of the exports without value additions to local resources and raw materials, will not facilitate a sustainable development.

“Development aspirations of the people could not be met depending only on import led consumption and industrialization  without focus on Food security and agro industrialisation and allied services based on agriculture, fisheries and livestock development. We have to, not only convert a negative economy to a positive high economic growth rate of 6 percent, but such growth should result in the eradication of poverty,” he said.