While stating that Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa must always be present during the Budget debate, United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed in Parliament today (07) that Rajapaksa flew to India for reasons unknown.
“We have had past Presidents who have also served as Finance Ministers parallelly, but they have always attended the Budget debates. We have never seen Finance Ministers leaving the country while crucial public finance matters are discussed.Our Finance Minister went to India and came back. We don’t know if he went to beg from India as well. It is questionable as to why the Finance Minister went to India,” Wickremesinghe said.
Wickremesinghe further mentioned that the Finance Minister has in the past stated that Sri Lanka would never bow down to anyone, and the Central Bank Governor had mentioned the same. But, the actions conducted by the Government proves otherwise.
“The Parliament deserves to know the truth as to why such a visit was made. It is our right to know. Also, the Finance Minister said that he would table the IMF documentation, yet it has not been done as yet. Either way, it is of no use now as it has already been handed over to the IMF and is currently under review under the article 4 consultation,” he concluded.