|Dr. P.B. Jayasundera|
Dr. PB belongs in jail – Wimal
Reiterating that Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, is an economic assassin who is holding the economy to ransom, Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, Wimal Weerawansa, said the present economic agenda was leading the country towards a future mired in debt.
He also said the government’s most fatal and grave error was in not chasing Jayasundera out.
“While foreign borrowings cannot be stopped completely, income development should be fostered. The Inland Revenue (IR) Department is now earning much less compared to the Rs 30.5 billion earned in 2013. “Apart from this, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, changed the Value Added Tax (VAT) system to a new system called ‘S-Vat’ through which businessmen themselves can claim VAT and the IRD has no way of ascertaining whether the claim is genuine or not.
“The President had recommended a project to integrate and computerize all institutions including the IRD, the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Department of Excise using state-of-the-art technology and a loan of Rs 4.5 billion was taken for this. The project was handed over to a person known to the Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development, who also works directly under him, and she had used over Rs 2 billion from this for a few other small projects. However, the main project of integration and computerization has not yet come to fruition. Now a new loan has been taken by the IRD for a project called RAMIC, which was earlier called FMRC, but interests however are being paid for the entire Rs 4.5 billion although only half was used.
“Infrastructure development is not wrong. However, through the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto, loans are being taken from both foreign and local banks to build roads. But, the reality is that roads fall apart often and there is no direct income. This is the result of advice meted out by economic assassins.
“This is Jayasundera’s strategy to reduce and weaken the country’s income and to make the country entirely dependent on loans and debts. The economy is being handled by a cult of two or three persons who have carte blanche. Jayasundera, during former President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s regime, attempted to sell local institutions and he should rightfully be in prison today. His business plan is to favour a class of business elite with whom he associates and to give them perks by changing tax policies. What the President likes has been turned into what Jayasundera likes. The Opposition does not criticize him because he is doing exactly what the Opposition wants while being in the government.
“The money taken to build just half a kilometre of the expressway in Kerawalapitiya is sufficient to build the entire Kantale Sugar Factory, which will give profits for over 10,000 years and will also provide employment opportunities. Such income generating opportunities have been curtailed. We are not going for any of these because there is no such agenda with Jayasundera. His approach is mechanical, idiotic and authoritarian.
“He has hijacked the economy and is holding it to ransom and is working on foreign aid. The government will not chase him out because maybe the President and the rest fear that kicking him out will only result in a worsened system. This is by far the biggest mistake of this foolish Parliament and government,” Weerawansa charged.
BY RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY