Appropriation Bill for 2019 presented | Daily News

Appropriation Bill for 2019 presented

The Government presented the Appropriation Bill for 2019 in Parliament yesterday for the second time with significant revisions to the Government expenditure and borrowings.

Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella presented the Bill for the first reading. Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera will deliver the Budget Speech on March 5.

The Prime Minister previously told Parliament that the Government would present a “people-friendly Budget” despite the heightened challenges in the fiscal front following the political crisis late last year.

According to the new estimates, the estimated total Government expenditure stands at Rs 4,550 billion while the estimated total Government revenue stands at Rs 2,390 billion. The Government borrowings for this year have been estimated to be Rs 2,200 billion. This is the highest ever amount required for debt servicing in the history of Sri Lanka. Out of this amount Rs 1,270 billion is for domestic debt servicing while Rs 930 billion is for foreign debt servicing.

The Defence Ministry allocation has risen to Rs. 393 billion. This was mainly because the President took over the Police Department and other institutions, which previously came under the Law and Order Ministry, to the Defence Ministry held by him. When compared with the defence allocation for 2018, this is an increase by Rs 103 billion.

The Government has allocated Rs 187.4 billion for the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry and Rs 105 billion for the Education Ministry. The City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Ministry has been allocated Rs 126.5 billion.

The expenditure estimated for the President for this year has increased to Rs 13.5 billion. Out of the total allocated sum, Rs 8.2 billion is for development activities while the rest is for operational activities.Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry coming under the purview of the President has been allocated Rs 42.9 billion.

The Prime Minister’s Office has been allocated Rs 1.6 billion for this year.

The National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development and Youth Affairs Ministry held by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been allocated Rs. 98 billion.

The nine independent commissions, which were set up under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, namely the Public Service, Judicial Service, National Police, Bribery, Human Rights Election, Audit Service, National Procurement and Delimitation have been allocated Rs 6.2 bilion.

The allocation for Parliament is Rs 3.5 billion. Some more key allocations include Rs 183.8 billion for the Finance and Mass Media Ministry, Rs 69 billion for the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, Rs 175.5 billion for the Highways and Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Ministry, Rs 216.5 billion for the Public Administration and Disaster Management Ministry, Rs 292.3 billion for the Internal and Home Affairs and Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry, and Rs 49.9 billion for the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry.

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