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UNP, SLFP budget this year: Ravi

This year’s budget is being jointly prepared by the UNP and the SLFP, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

He said the budget will be presented in a people- friendly development oriented manner incorporating the views and ideas of both parties (UNP and the SLFP) in keeping with agreements reached by the President and the Prime Minister in keeping with the pledges made to the people.

Minister Karunanayake expressed these sentiments at a press conference at Siri Kotha UNP headquarters yesterday.

The minister said the Appropriation Bill was presented in Parliament yesterday.

Proposals in the 2017 Budget would promote a forward march towards the country’s development and progress and prosperity of the people.

He said the country was Rs. 1,384 billion in debt and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over power to them after increasing that debt almost five fold.

The government would take steps to make the Hambantota Port a profitable concern by selling its Rs. 189,000 million debt loss. This will be done handing it over to a Chinese company with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority holding 20 percent of its equity, the minister said.