Dons, docs studying the budget

by Dasun Edirisinghe

University teachers, who sought a pay hike from the budget, yesterday said they could not comment on the academic allowance increment, proposed by President Rajapaksa, until they study it at length.

President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that President Rajapaksa had promised an increment in the allowance for university teachers, doctors and judges within affordable limits.

Dr. Dewasiri said that they were still to know what the amount of the increase was and it was still too early to comment on it.

President Rajapaksa also promised a 15 per cent increase in expenditure on education and had now set aside 4.1 per cent of the GDP for it against their demand to allocate 6 per cent of GDP for education, Dr. Dewasiri said.

The senior academic said that they did not know how the government’s figure had been calculated.

"Currently, only 1.9 per cent of the GDP is allocated for education according to our calculations," Dr. Dewasiri said, adding that government’s calculations were different.

Meanwhile, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said they needed time to analyse the budget.

GMOA spokesman Dr. Naveen Zoysa said that their membership expected much relief from the budget.

"Our executive committee will analyse the budget during this weekend," he said, adding they would announce their decision by Monday.

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