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No election goodies to be included in Sri Lanka's budget

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's 2015 budget will not offer any goodies, a top treasury official said today amid reports that he may call a snap poll to win a third consecutive term.

"Although there was reference made in the weekend media that the 2015 budget will be a bag full of goodies, I can assure you that it will be a development oriented budget". P N Jayasundera, the Secretary to the Treasury said while addressing the Capital Market Conference here.

Rajapaksa is widely expected to call a snap presidential in January next year in his bid to win a third successive term.

Despite Jayasuindera's comments the government within a short time of his statement announced a Rs 250 cut from the retail price of petroleum liquid cooking gas.

In a similar move mid last month, Rajapaksa slashed retail prices of fuel and granted a 25 percent reduction on the domestic electricity use. This was during the key south eastern provincial council election.

Rajapaksa who won the war against Tamil tigers and assumed unassailable popularity among the majority Sinhala community. He banks on their support for re-election.

However, his government has faced accusations of economic mismanagement and corruption.

The peace dividend of his success in the battlefield which ended a 30-year-old separatist campaign has not converted into economic benefit to his electorate, the opposition charges.

First Published: Thu, October 09 2014. 19:21 IST