The second reading of the 2019 Budget was passed in Parliament this evening (March 12) with 119 votes in favour of the budget, while 76 were cast against it. Meanwhile, 29 parliamentarians abstained from voting.
SLFP MP Arumugan Thondaman cast his vote in favour of the budget. However, MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara, Mahinda Amaraweera, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero were not present at the parliament during voting.
The TNA’s 13 parliamentarians cast their vote in favour of the second reading of the 2019 budget.
2019 Budget Presentation
The Budget was presented to the Parliament by the Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera on the 5th of this month. The government expenditure according to the 2019 budget stands at Rs. 4550 billion and the government revenue is estimated at Rs. 2400 Billion.
The committee stage debate on the 3rd reading of the budget will commence tomorrow (March 13) and will go on till the 5th of April.
The vote on the 2019 Budget will be held on the 5th of April.
Journalists questioned the Oppostion Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the Freedom Party refraining from voting. He noted that since the President’s Budget overhead matter is coming up tomorrow (March 13), they must have thought if they vote against it, the others will vote against the overhead tomorrow. He noted that this is why they abstained from voting.
UPFA MP Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa noted that President Maithirpala Sirisena is the chairman of the SLFP and the Parliamentarians took a decision along with him. He noted that it is a good decision and an important one.
UNP MP Chathura Senaratne speaking about the 2019 budget noted that if anyone wants to topple governments if anyone wants to defeat the budget and if anyone wants to create new governments, they can learn from them (UNP).
UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena noted that as they have voted against this budget they will also stand with the people. He said that is what they expressed by casting they vote against this.
Minister Kabir Hashim noted that the opposition noted that they will defeat and they called the government politically unstable. He noted while the development activities are taking place they (UNP) have depicted today as to where the power lies. He noted that they have shown their strength today.
Meanwhile, UPFA MP Vasudewa Nanayakkara noted that the vote of the Tamil National Alliance was crucial today. He noted that they received certain powers and certain received certain gifts. Therefore, he noted some had to vote for that side. He said that he cannot say they received money but can only speak of the benefits.
Minister Sajith Premadasa noted that when the voting is done democratically they (UNP) always win. He questioned the Flower bud, “where is the budget that you said you would defeat? Where the forecasts that you did before the country?”He noted that this is the same fate that the Pohottuwa will have to face at the Presidential election as well.
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