State sector salaries for workers will be paid promptly: State Finance Minister

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 02:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya assures Executive-level State workers will receive salaries on 25 or 26 January
  • Reveals Govt. coffers expecting Rs. 480 b deficit from scheduled revenue

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya yesterday assured that salaries for public sector workers for January will be paid promptly. 

“The monthly salaries of non-Executive public sector employees will be paid on 25 January, whilst Executive-level State workers will receive their monthly salary either 25 January or 26 January,” he assured.

Last week, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal submitted by President Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance Minister to pay the monthly salaries of non-Executive State employees on the stipulated date and to delay the payment of salaries of Executive-level employees by a few days.

Justifying the decision, Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena last week said the Treasury was struggling to manage its cash flow with no sufficient income to the Government coffers.

State Minister Siyambalapitiya said of the total Rs. 93 billion allocated for State employee salaries and pension, Rs. 87 billion should be set aside for the payment of salaries.

“The Government’s expected revenue in January is Rs. 145 billion and the Customs and Excise Department has already said that its monthly revenue target will fall short by about Rs. 10 billion. The total expenditure of the Government in January is estimated at Rs. 625 billion. There is a deficit of Rs. 480 billion despite the scheduled revenue,” he explained.

When asked at the media briefing held by the State Minister at the Government Information Department last week if the Budget 2023 had not presented a comprehensive document, Siyambalapitiya denied such claims stating that the Budget includes assumptions.

“A budget is a compilation of assumptions and estimates. Sometimes the figures estimated could change in a significant manner and sometimes slightly. It must be also understood that certain payments are remitted to the accounts later, whilst some payments should be made on time such as loan interests to avoid the further burden, thereby widening the income and expenditure gap further. Thus, we cannot accept claims that the Budget 2023 is not a comprehensive document,” Siyambalapitiya told journalists last week.