Harsha exposes irregularities in fiscal management report

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Our Lobby Correspondent

The mid-year fiscal position report for a particular year that states the reasons for shortfall in the estimated revenue or cash flow or an excess in the estimated expenditure or borrowings came into the limelight yesterday, with Dr. Harsha de Silva highlighting recent deviations from the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 3 of 2003.

“According to Section 12 of the Act, it is stated that the midyear fiscal position report in respect of a financial shall contain a statement of estimated and actuals for revenue, expenditure, and cash flow.

In Section 12 of the same Act, it says where there is a shortfall in the estimated revenue or the cash flow or an excess in the estimated expenditure, the mid-year fiscal position report shall state the reasons for such shortfall. We are talking about the Fiscal Responsibility Act and you are not complying with what is mentioned in the Act,” said Dr. de Silva.

However, in his response Minister of International Monetary Cooperation and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who found refuge in the format which was in use since 2003 irrespective of the irregularity in it highlighted by the Opposition legislator, said: “On par with the 2012 Budget, the Appropriation Bill was read at Parliament for the second time on 21 November 2011. The report tabled discloses about 2012. It gives Government midterm macro state fiscal framework estimates and the assumptions and hazards related to those estimates are also presented. So, for the first four months of 2012, the Government fiscal position in details is provided in chart 1.1. This report also extends details about the period up to March 2012.”