SL passes budget for 2023 with major tax hikes and reforms

Sri Lanka on Thursday passed the budget for 2023 with tax hikes and major reforms to please the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address the current

financial crisis.

The budget, presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, was passed with a majority of 43 votes. In the 225-member parliament, 123 lawmakers voted for it while 80 opposed it.

“We have to take unpopular decision for the future benefit of the country,”

Wickremesinghe, who is also the Finance Minister, said taking part at the final

day of the budget debate.

He said that the country has to face adverse repercussions today due to the

short-sighted popular decisions taken in the past and unpopular decisions have

had to be taken for the future prospects of the country.

The President told that a Parliamentary Select Committee will be established on a

resolution by the lawmakers to look into those who led the economy to bankruptcy with their incorrect fiscal policies.

Backed by ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party, Wickremesinghe’s budget plans to increase tax revenue by 69 per cent to help the ailing economy hit by increasing inflation and dollar crisis. The Wickremesinghe government is planning to restructure a number of both profit and loss making state-run enterprises including the national carrier, power, and telecommunication sector.

The budget aims at increasing tax revenue from this year’s Sri Lankan Rs 1,852 billion to Rs 3,130 billion next year while the budget deficit to be brought down to 7.9 per cent in 2023 from this year’s 9.8 per cent.

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