‘Subsidies worth Rs.140 b granted to various sectors’
Minister Lakshman Yapa
The government is spending Rs140 billion annually for subsidies for
various sectors of the public, said acting Mass Media and Information
Minister and Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa
Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing held at the Information
Department yesterday, the acting minister pointed out that the total
revenue of the government is Rs 1000 billion per year, and of this
amount Rs 140 billion is given as subsidies.
He observed that there is no need for the public to take to the
streets in protest because the government has already been addressing
their problems. He noted that with an eight percent economic growth, the
country recorded its lowest inflation rate of 3.8 percent last month. He
observed that the prices of vegetables and rice are stable while the
unemployment rate is at an all time low at present.
The minister also observed that the government only released a share
of the government's excess burden to the people by increasing the fuel
prices on par with world oil prices. He said that the government ensured
that this increase would not affect the lower segments of society. He
said that needy communities,such as, fishermen and families who obtain
light from kerosene are being provided with the necessary fuel
subsidies. The government spends about Rs 250 million for the kerosene
He also said that the government had spent Rs 29,800 million for the
fertilizer subsidy and Rs 9,000 million for Samurdhi in 2011. The
government has increased the money allocated for the fertilizer subsidy
up to Rs 33,800 million and the Samurdhi for Rs 12,000 million for the
He said that the government's subsidy schemes would not affect the
budget deficit. The government has planned to cut down the expenses in
every field except development and subsidy. Accordingly the government
has decided to cut down the expenses of administrative and other fields
approximately by 9 percent taking the crisis situation into
consideration. The government also anticipates to improve the revenue
from tourism this year.
He also revealed that the government has planned to initiate
community development projects under the Divi Neguma programme in each
14,000 Grama Niladari Divisions (GND) on March 10 with the participation
of all relevant authorities. The government has facilitated Rs 1 million
for each GND for this programme.
The government would also select three family units from each GND and
would introduce cash crops to them under the Divi Neguma programme.