Tamil Diplomat

New Budget is critical: Arjuna Mahendran

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has observed that the November 20 Budget to be presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be critical for it focuses on increasing next year’s growth to 6.5% and raising the revenue without hurting the economy.

He was addressing the media. Deputy Governors Ananda Silva and Nandalal Weerasinghe were also present. He said:

Central Bank, is confident of recording a Gross Domestic Production (GDP) growth of 5.5% by the end of the year. At the moment we are being conservative and looking at around 5.5% GDP growth by the end of this year. Next year is what we are really focused on as we target to reach 6.5% GDP growth. That’s something we have to work on.

We are eagerly awaiting the Government’s policy direction. One of the concerns is that we have to raise more revenue without hurting the economy and that’s the real challenge. If you keep on taxing the same people over and over again that’s not a good thing. We are hoping that the taxation will be more broad-based because that will hopefully lead to a better result.

The current tax system was very complicated. Simplification of the tax system is imperative in order to attract more revenue for the Government.