The Budget for 2019 was passed in Parliament by majority of 45 votes yesterday; receiving 119 in favour and 74 against. The Tamil National Alliance, MP Muttu Sivalingham of the Ceylon Workers Congress, and a few MPs of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party voted together with the government in favour of the budget. The rest of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party were absent when the vote was taken.
The Expenditure Heads of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Government which were defeated at committee stage were also passed yesterday.
Speaking at the debate, Minister of Finance: Mangala Samaraweera said, the citizens are beginning to benefit from the economic strength built by the government, with dedication. Out of the 57 billion rupees that left the country during the 51-day downfall last year, 10 billion rupees has returned through foreign investments in government securities this year. In the year 2018, the highest recorded foreign investments of 2,300 million dollars were received. The Sri Lankan rupee has become one of the three main foreign currencies performing well in the recent past. The Inflation Rate is at a low level of 2.4 percent. Thereby, costs incurred to both the business sector and the consumers will be minimal. The Minister pointed out, in a strengthened macroeconomic state like this, the country is able to conveniently attract funding from the international financial market, which contributes in the repayment of debts.