Several SLPP MPs consider voting against budget

Several Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Members of Parliament are considering voting against the 2024 budget, despite being a part of the Government.

A number of SLPP members are said to unhappy with President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who they voted into office last year.

Senior and popular members of the SLPP who have not been given Cabinet portfolios, have told the party leadership that they want to vote against the budget to send a clear signal to the President that they are not happy, sources told Colombo Gazette.

A number of SLPP MPs have already spoken in public against the 2024 budget saying it is more of a pro-IMF or pro-UNP budget.

The SLPP has not formally decided how it will vote on the budget, but early signs are it is likely to be split.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the 2024 budget to Parliament last week, focusing on ensuring the country does not go bankrupt again.

Presenting the budget in Parliament, the President, who is also the Minister of Finance, said that advancing a nation requires more than mere fairy tales.

He recalled that the prolonged reliance on election promises by political parties has historically led to the economic bankruptcy of the country.

The 2024 budget allocates funds to improve facilities for tourists, address housing issues in the country, including in the North, and improve domestic cricket.

The Second Reading debate of the Appropriation Bill (Budget) is being held for 7 days from November 14th to the 21st, excluding Sundays. Accordingly, the vote on the Second Reading of the budget for the financial year 2024 is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:00 p.m.

Furthermore, the Committee Stage debate will be held for 19 days from Wednesday, the 22nd of November to Wednesday, the 13th of December, excluding Sundays. Accordingly, the vote on the Third Reading of the budget for the financial year 2024 is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, December 13th at 6:00 p.m.