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The joint opposition (JO) today accepted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's challenge to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to explain how he would reduce taxes by 20 per cent if he comes to power.

JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said they would accept the challenge on behalf of Mr. Rajapaksa.

“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to mislead the people by saying that Rajapaksa era loans had resulted in economic hardships. To cover up their inefficiency, the UNP-led government is resorting to their famous Goebbel's Theory and blaming others,” he told a news briefing.

Rejecting reports that loans incurred during the Rajapaksa era had crippled the country's economy, the MP said the Rajapaksa government was able to gradually increase the surplus income, even after loan repayments.

Meanwhile, the MP said the amount of state loans was Rs.2 trillion when the Rajapaksa government came to power and it increased to Rs.7 trillion within ten years. “However, this government had obtained loans worth Rs.4 trillion within four years,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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