Minister says war needs 12 billion more

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 May 2000, 14:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister for Finance Prof.G.L.Pieris told Parliament today that his government has to raise 12 billion rupees more to prosecute the war against the Liberation Tigers. He announced that the defence levy on all goods and services will be increased again to raise part of the monies required for the war effort.

peiris_g_L_3-p.jpgThe defence levy has been increased by one percent the Minister said. The levy was increased several times in the past to finance the growing defence budget of the Sri Lankan government.

Currently the levy is 5.5 percent. The government increased the price of liquor by 10 rupees and the price of cigarettes by 50 cents. Part of the required defence funds will be raised by this price hike the Minister said.

The Sri Lankan government, though cash strapped and under pressure from western donors to maintain greater fiscal discipline, is currently engaged in unprecedented arms purchases in response to the military crisis it is facing in the northern part of the island.


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