The government was robbing the people by imposing unconscionable taxes, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Saturday.
Addressing a ceremony at Aparekka-Agarawala Meditation Centre to unveil the pinnacle of new Chaitya, the former President said the water tariff had been increased by around 168 per cent. People were being exploited, he added.
"Look at the way the government is planning to reduce prices of essential food items in the budget. A two-rupee reduction in the price of a kilo of sprats and a five-rupee decrease in the price of a kilo of mung. Will the vendor sell at that price when people go to him at the fair? Are these price reductions meaningful and realistic? This is nothing but daylight robbery. The government is robbing the innocent people", he said.
"I lost the election and went home on Jan 08, 2015. Since then there has been no development in this country. The government has not only failed to bring launch development projects but suspended the ones we started. It cannot generate employment opportunities. The vehicle importers complain they cannot sell what they have imported. Unable, to the problems it has created, it keeps blaming me.
"We have built roads and concreted over thousands of rural roads. Through those development projects we gave relief to people. When we built the Hambantota Port they claimed it was a white elephant. Now they are planning to sell it off! They plan to sell off the harbour that had been constructed at a cost of 460 million dollars for 100 million dollars."