Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Rs.7500 enough for family of three - Bandula Gunawardena
Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena said a family of three could live a comfortable life with an income of Rs.7500 per month if they used their money wisely.
Addressing a gathering at the opening ceremony of the Maternity and Childcare Centre at Mullegama in Homagama he pointed out that if people refrained from wasteful expenditure they could live happier, fuller and pleasanter lives.
He went on to say, “The government’s budgeted income from taxation is only Rs.1000 billion and it is barely enough for recurrent expenditure. Under the circumstance the government is compelled to depend on foreign loans and aid to meet capital expenditure. The government obtains foreign loans for its development programmes that include highways, harbours, airports, hospitals, and new industries. It is not possible to develop a country unless it obtains foreign loans. Farmer organizations have demanded an increased purchase price for paddy. It is quiet easy to increase the guaranteed price up to Rs.100 in five minutes by a cabinet decision. However, farmers must not forget that the with a increase in the paddy purchasing price the price of rice will go up to Rs.200. Policy planning is not easy as pasting posters. A measure of rice had once been the major factor in changing governments.
We never said that the price of rice will not increase. Salaries have increased in keeping with the increase in the price of goods. There was a time when the salary of a government servant was about Rs.80, but present day salaries are very much higher.
The Education Department runs student hostels in several schools where students have three square meals and two cups of tea a day for Rs.2500 a month. This is a clear indication that a family of three needs only Rs.7500 for a month if they manage their expenses properly. Many individuals are in the habit of wasting their hard earned money having meals at hotels and restaurants. Recently I was invited to a function at a hotel that charged Rs.6500 for lunch per head. We must avoid such wasteful expenditure and guard our expenses.
The number of cellular phone in use in the country exceeds the population. Many individuals are using super- luxury cars at tremendous costs. It is in doubt whether they really need such expensive vehicles. No government has been able to contain the increasing cost of living. The prices of goods in 1960’s have increased by a large margin by the year 2000, and it will increase further by the year 3000. Then people living in 3000 will say that the prices of goods were much less in the year 2000, just as we talk about the prices of goods in the 1960s.