JVP wants Mahinda Chinthana
promises in 2007 Budget
The JVP has put forward its proposals which it
claims are based on promises made in the Mahinda Chintana 2006,
for accommodation in the 2007 Budget.
JVP MP Lal Kantha told The Sunday Times the JVP
Budget proposals are based on the unfulfilled promises made by the
Government in the run-up to last year’s Presidential elections.
“We have made 50 proposals for the Budget
based on the promises made in the Mahinda Chintana,” he said.
He said among the promises in the Mahinda Chintana
which have not been fulfilled, providing jobs for 10,000 graduates
and salary increases for public and private sector workers are the
JVP’s main focus.
“The Government currently has 14,000 jobs
available for these graduates and we have proposed that these vacancies
be filled,” he said.
He said the Mahinda Chintana promised that public
sector workers’ salaries would be revised every six months
in keeping with the rising cost of living, but the Government had
failed to increase salaries by the promised amount.
“According to the promises made in November
2006, public sector workers’ salaries should have been increased
by Rs. 1100 in June but they were raised by Rs. 375 only. We have
proposed that the promises made are kept,” he said.
The JVP has also made several other proposals
including providing fertilizer for paddy and vegetable farmers as
well as for small and medium scale farmers.
“The Government promised to give this relief
to farmers but 30% of farmers do not get the necessary aid. We want
the promises to be fulfilled,” Mr. Lal Kantha said.
Among other proposals made by the JVP are relief
for fishermen, making temporary public sector workers permanent
and uplifting industries.
MP Lal Kantha warned the Government that if it
did not accommodate the proposals that would benefit the public,
the JVP would not support the Government.
Meanwhile, the Government Medical Officers Association
(GMOA) has also put forward several proposals in respect of health
GMOA spokesman Dr. A. Padeniya told The Sunday
Times the GMOA was concerned about the health service and Government
expenditure on health.
“Currently the health sector receives only
1.7% of GDP while it has been less than 2% for the past 10 years.
We have proposed a higher expenditure on health services,”
Dr. Padeniya said the US allocated 14% of GDP
for health while countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal and
even Ethiopia allocate 5% or more for the health sector.
“World Health Organization (WHO) documents
and material have revealed that 1.7% is one of the lowest percentages
for health in the world. Only a few countries spend less than us
on this sector,” he said.
He also said administration in the health services
has to be improved and corruption eliminated.
“There was an administrative body called
the National Council for Administration which looked into these
matters but now that has been abolished. We have requested that
a similar council be reinstituted,” he said.
The Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) also made its
proposals for the Budget while voicing its strong concern at the
CMU General Secretary Bala Tampoe said the Government
should increase the salaries of public and private sector workers
“We have made several proposals on this
matter and we want the Budget to include these salary increases,”
He said that during former President Chandrika Bandaranaike’s
time, Government expenditure on defence was Rs. 70 billion but now
it has been gone up to Rs. 90 billion.
He said the Government is printing money for this
purpose and that is the root cause of inflation in Sri Lanka.
“This kind of raising money is totally unnecessary
and meaningless. Public money is being spent to bomb the LTTE but
the Government is not even succeeding in that,” he said.
Mr. Tampoe said the money allocated for defence
is going straight into the pockets of Government officials.
“As for our expectations, we have none,
because I don’t think the Government will make the Budget
in a way that will benefit the people,” he said.