- Vote on Account to cover State expenditure from Sept.-Dec., placed on Order Book of Parliament ahead of debate this week
- Public Service, PC and LG Ministry get largest chunk of Rs. 200 b with Rs. 83 b for Pension Dept.
- Defence gets Rs. 175 b and Finance Ministry gets Rs. 136 b but mainly to cover recurrent expenditure
- Highways Ministry gets around Rs. 88 b almost all of which will go to road projects
- Two-day parliamentary debate on VoA kicks off on Thursday
- 2020 marks first year without a proper Budget for country’s fiscal operations
By Chandani Kirinde
The Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Council and Local Government will get the highest allocation of close to Rs. 200 billion, under the Rs. 1.7 trillion worth Vote on Account (VoA) for which the Government will seek parliamentary approval this week.
Around Rs. 180 billion will go towards recurrent expenditure in the public sector with around Rs. 83 billion going to the Department of Pensions.
The Ministry of Defence has got the second highest in allocation of around Rs. 175 billion and here too recurrent expenditure accounts for Rs. 154 billion for covering the operational activities of the three-armed forces and other departments coming under it.
The newly created State Ministry of Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management under which all District Secretariats and the Sri Lanka Police have been allocated separate funds from the Defence Ministry budget.
The Parliamentary Resolution seeking money from the Consolidated Fund for State expenditure for the next four months of the year starting from 1 September will be taken up for debate on Thursday and Friday. The current year marks the first without a proper Budget for the country’s fiscal operations.
The Ministry of Finance which comes under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has the third highest allocation of Rs. 136 million of which around Rs. 50 billion has been allocated for capital expenditure to meet development activities.
Two other ministries that come under the Prime Minister, the Urban Development and Housing Ministry and the Buddhas Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry, have been allocated Rs. 27 billion and Rs. 2.8 billion, respectively.
Other ministries with substantial allocations for the next four months include the Highways Ministry with Rs. 88 billion of which nearly Rs. 87 billion will be for capital expenditure (Rs. 83.6 to the Ministry of Highways and Rs. 4.3 billion to the State Ministry of Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure), Ministry of Health with Rs. 76 billion and Ministry of Education Rs. 70 billion.
The Government hopes to raise Rs. 1.3 trillion by ways of loans, in terms of relevant laws, in or outside Sri Lanka. Details of such loans will be incorporated in the Final Budget Position report which is required to be tabled in Parliament under Section 13 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 3 of 2003.