Economy

Opposition claims political motivation for changes to financial year

The Opposition today said the reasons given by the finance minister in support of changes to government’s financial year is ‘illogical’. Speaking in Parliament today, NFP Leader, Dr Biman Prasad hinted that the changes could be in preparation towards the 2018 General Election.  Dr Prasad stated it would be easy to release an election-friendly budget […]

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April 27, 2016 1:55 pm

The Opposition today said the reasons given by the finance minister in support of changes to government’s financial year is ‘illogical’.

Speaking in Parliament today, NFP Leader, Dr Biman Prasad hinted that the changes could be in preparation towards the 2018 General Election.  Dr Prasad stated it would be easy to release an election-friendly budget in June-July, in time for the general elections usually held in September.

SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro agreed the changes could be politically motivated as the reasons, “do not carry weight, the grounds are so shallow.”

Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum denied any political motives behind the changes, saying the General Elections are usually held doing school holidays, and not in the cyclone season.

On Monday, the government tabled a Bill to amend its financial year to begin on the 1st of August and end on the 31st of July the following year.  The Bill is an amendment to the Financial Management Act.

Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced the reasons behind the proposed changes in March.

Read:  Government changes financial year – Tax, ‘Christmasitis’ and Weather main reasons

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We have consulted with the World Bank and the IMF and they said that this is a positive move.”

Dr Prasad opposed the Bill, saying it should have been put to the relevant Standing Committee first for consideration.

PRASAD: “The national budget runs from the 1st January to the 31st Dec. And the AG’s reference to the World Bank and IMF is not always the best advice. If we are to change the financial year that we currently have, we should have a proper debate about this and taken to the Standing Committee.”

Read: NFP unhappy with financial year changes

PRASAD: “With the reasons the Minister of Finance brought forward about people going on holiday and the Christmas season are reasons for the change, I think there are fundamental problems with that argument. These are human resource and management to address.”

Dr Prasad urged the government to re-look at the 2016 budget and revise it.

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