Recognizing that all the economic and monetary policies pursued by the government in the past were wrong, the Minister of Finance now acknowledges that the executive presidency should be abolished through the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.In addition, Mr. Rohitha Abeygunawardena today suggested that the parliament should be dissolved and a general election should be held.
Mr. Wickremaratne stated in Parliament today that the Samagi Jana Balavegaya is ready to fully support to abolish the executive presidency and go for an early general election, justifying the demands of the people who are fighting against the economic collapse of the country. Therefore the Cabinet of ministers must take a decision on its promises and bring in legislation to abolish the Executive Presidency and to hold a snap Parliamentary general election.
Addressing the deliberation on the statements made by the Minister of Finance Ali Sabri regarding the economy the previous day, SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne expressed his views in Parliament today (05).
Speaking further the Member of Parliament said,
Ali Sabri, the founder of the 20th Amendment, was the Minister of Justice at that time. As he is also the Minister of Finance today, as the present Minister of Justice and Finance himself should take steps to abolish the executive presidency which is a disaster to the country.
Due to Ali Sabri’s 20th Amendment, people today are queuing for fuel, kerosene and gas and are in the dark for hours without electricity. It is good to admit the mistakes of the government, but hehimself has to come up with solutions.
Moreover, the situation in the country today is that there is no way to get a passport, a driving license, a credit or debit card from a bank or even a vehicle number plate. The depth of this crisis is such that even an identity card cannot be obtained. Eran Wickremaratne asked if it was possible to say that there was a governance in the country.
When I warned a few months ago that there may be a shortage of food. The government did not heed the call to hold talks with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to obtain food items. It showed the government has crossed up its wires.
The Minister of Finance made a statement regarding many wrong economic decisions of the government recognizing the fall in revenue by about Rs 600 billion, the budget deficit widened unimaginably. After 1954/55 the excess in primary balance in 2017/2018 were eliminated. He also admitted that the country had lost Rs 5 billion due to the artificial control of the rupee for about an year. This is a crime committed against the country. The country should also be told who is responsible for this. Mr. Wickremaratne reminded that the former Governor of the Central Bank was responsible for this, and Parliament should take action in this regard.
The Minister of Finance admitted that it was wrong for fiscal policy to be adopted through Monetary policy. After that this government was mentioning a local solution for one and a half year.The local solution of this government was to print money. The Minister of Finance admitted that too was a wrong policy. According to Article 148 of the Constitution, Parliament has the full control over public finance. However, the government at once announced that the loans would not be repaid. He questioned who had taken that decision not to pay foreign loans and interest.Parliament has this power. Did the Cabinet take a decision not to repay the loan? Was Parliament informed about it? If so, the Appropriation Act should have been amended or the Foreign Debt Act of 1957 should have been tabled in Parliament and amended.
But they have done nothing. Without giving any proper answers to these questions, the Minister of Finance admitted all the mistakes while explaining the facts. This government did not think about the country when it went to the polls. When the wrong economic policies are implemented with the election in mind and now everything is accepted as wrong, while the damage is done to the country. Today as a result, all sections of the country are suffering.
On the contrary finance minister did not utter a word about the corruption of this government in this country. The person who should talk about corruption is the Minister of Finance and he should have revealed the degree of corruption whether it is 10 % or 20 % now.Although he appeared in court on behalf of those who stole in the past as a lawyer, now that he is a politician and a minister, the Minister of Justice and Finance has no moral right to go back to court to represent the thieves, said Wickremaratne.
Emphasizing on the recent revelations of fraud and corruption committed by the Rajapaksas, MP Wickremaratne told ABC channel, Australia last week reported on a payment to the Rajapaksas by a company there. If the Rajapaksas say this is wrong or false, then why not they file a case against the ABC Channel, asked Mr. Eran Wickremaratne.
Disclaimer: Govt should "walk the talk" on its proposals to abolish Executive Presidency and hold snap parliamentary election by Eran Wickramaratne M.P. - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view