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Stage Set For National Govt.’s First Budget

by Hasitha Ayeshmantha

Ravi Karunanayake

With the Appropriation Bill for 2016 being approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Presentation or the first reading of the Budget came to a conclusion last Friday.

At a recent press conference in Colombo Cabinet Spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the Parliamentary Programme for the Budget 2016 which was approved at the previous meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers was amended according to a proposal made by Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake.

Following that, the Cabinet has approved the Appropriation Bill setting Sri Lanka’s total expenditure for 2016 at an estimated Rs. 3,138 billion. The total borrowing requirement from both foreign and domestic sources will be Rs.1, 349 billion.

The expenditure provisions covered in the Appropriation Bill have been estimated at Rs. 1,941 billion which consists of Rs. 1,314 billion for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 626 billion for capital expenditure. In addition, provisions have been made under special laws to service public debt and payment of widows and pension along with other welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1,191 billion.

Based on the Medium term Budgetary framework 2016-2018 and policy framework and priorities considered in drafting budget estimates for 2016, the General treasury has conducted budget discussions with the ministries and Provincial Councils. Accordingly, budgetary provisions have been made taking into consideration of the total resource envelop available in the medium term 2016-2018.

The expenditure provisions covered in the Appropriation Bill have been estimated at Rs. 1,941,450 million which consists of Rs. 1,314,971 million for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 626, 479 million for capital expenditure. In addition, provisions have been made under special laws to service public debt and payment of widows and pension along with other welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1,191,903 million. The provision requirement for advance Account Activities is Rs 5,000 million.

Hence, the total expenditure provision for 2016 without budget proposals to be introduced at the Second reading, which is to be held on November 20th of the budget, is estimated at Rs 3,138,353 million. The revenue at the prevailing rate structure and foreign grants has been estimated to be around Rs. 1,789,230 million. The total borrowing requirement from both foreign and domestic sources will be Rs 1,349,123 million.

In an analysis conducted on the content of the Appropriation Bill 2016 it was found that expenditure allocations for the appropriate sectors were as follows.

The Appropriation bill for the year 2016 was tabled in Parliament by the leader of the house Lakshman Kiriella on Friday and the proposed parliamentary program for the annual budget was submitted by the acting Minister of Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday (14) and the cabinet approved it.

Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake in a recent statement on the private sector of the country said that the sectors of the economy will be opened enabling the private sector as well to play an equal role with the government. He said for the first time in the history, a separate department will be created at the Ministry of Finance for the private sector development from January 01, 2016 The Minister made these remarks while addressing a recent press gathering in Colombo.

“Many sectors in the economy will be opened especially the financial sector will need a radical change where we expect the banks to take the risk and get forward for the betterment of the economy under a new era where  both the President and the Prime Minister have a clear mandate and vision for it” said Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

The minister also reminded the private sector that when they put up a challenge to the government they should be ready to meet that challenge and walk on it. He asked them not to live on the dead past as the government has rooted out the corruption and lethargic attitudes that existed in the past.

The Minister allaying the fears of red tapes and lethargic attitudes said to be on the part of the public sector invited the private sector chambers entrepreneurs to bring any such issues to the immediate attention of the finance ministry without making generalised allegations.

“If the government is corrupt, don’t make mere allegations, tell us where it is then we will change it”, Karunanayake said. Help us to help you was the call by the minister to the private sector chambers.

He also said on November 20th, the country will see a revolutionary budget where the monopolistic approach of the government will be reduced with competitive element emerging with a level playing opportunity given to all stake holders.

The Minister concluded his remarks while outlining that this new approach by the government with the introduction of the 2016 budget on November 20th it will be a continuous process until the country sees a transparent process with a developed economy.

 

 

Ministry                                                                                                    Allocation (Rs.)

 

Ministry of Buddha Sasana                                                                         1,337,665,000

Ministry of Finance                                                                                107,833,235,000

Ministry of Defence                                                                               306,657,824,000

Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs                                       12,192,350,000

Ministry of Justice                                                                                    9,884,760,000

Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine                                 174,077,998,000

Ministry of Foreign Affairs                                                                          9,469,205,000

Ministry of Transport                                                                               68,999,855,000

Ministry of University Education and Highways                                          171,419,880,000

Ministry of Agriculture                                                                              54,201,212,000

Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy                                                     1,237,400,000

Ministry of Home Affairs                                                                          32,638,000,000

Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media                                       5,454,480,000

Ministry of Housing and Construction                                                          2,823,400,000

Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare                                              68,400,882,000

Ministry of Education                                                                             185,976,030,000

Ministry of Public Administration and Management                                     156,256,125,000

Ministry of Plantation Industries                                                                  7,878,780,000

Ministry of Sports                                                                                     3,321,100,000

Ministry of Industry and Commerce                                                             5,675,180,000

Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development                                                281,500,000

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development                             4,933,045,000

Ministry of Lands                                                                                      7,800,774,000

Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs                                                              4,800,485,000

Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government                                237,934,642,000

Ministry of Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs                          162,800,000

Ministry of Public Enterprise Development                                                      361,230,000

Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment                                    69,495,807,000

Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife                                          3,146,330,000

Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development                                         22,275,150,000

Ministry of Internal Affairs,Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs 6,1512,28,000

Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation                                            100,420,000

Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply                                                 31,978,006,000

Ministry of Ports and Shipping                                                                       690,600,000

Ministry of Foreign Employment                                                                  1,037,050,000

Ministry of Law and Order and Prisons Reform                                            76,925,850,000

Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations                                               7,075,620,000

Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure                                   426,800,000

Ministry of Development Strategy and International Trade                                 814,555,000

Ministry of Science, Technology & Research                                                3,868,550,000

Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management                               28,078,325,000

 

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