Rs.1 trillion for Govt services, development projects | Daily News


Third Vote on Account authorized

Rs.1 trillion for Govt services, development projects

Highest allocation for Finance Ministry
Tight control of recurrent expenditure
Priority for essential work and programmes

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has authorized a total of Rs. 1,043 billion (Rs. 1 trillion) from the Consolidated Fund for the continuation of Government services and development activities from June to the end of August.

This is the third ‘Vote on Account’ (VoA) for this year as the Budget is further delayed.

Out of the authorized sum, Rs. 644.1billion has been allocated for recurrent expenditure while Rs. 398.8 billion has been allocated for capital expenditure for the three months.

The President has authorized the above expenditure in terms of the provisions of Paragraph (3) of Article 150 of the Constitution.

Compared to the ‘Vote on Account’ presented for the three months ending in May, there is a reduction of Rs. 181 billion in the approved expenditure for the three months starting from June.

The Circular, undersigned by Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle, has stressed the need to restrain the expenditure as much as possible given the prevailing health crisis.

The highest allocation in the VoA has been made to the Finance, Economic and Policy Development Ministry held by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the corresponding figure is Rs. 546 billion. Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry has been allocated Rs. 154 billion, and the Defence Ministry has been allocated Rs. 107 billion.

Healthcare and Indigenous Medical Services Ministry has been allocated Rs. 43.1 billion and the National Election Commission has been allocated Rs. 5.1billion, which should cover the expenditure for the forthcoming General Election.

An allocation of Rs. 31.9 billion has been made to the Roads and Highways Ministry. A sum of Rs. 860 million has been allocated for the expenditure of the President and Rs. 270 million for the Office of the Prime Minister for the three months. These also include costs for institutions coming under the purview of the President and the Prime Minister. Parliament has been allocated Rs. 752 million.

The National Budget Department of the Finance, Economy and Policy Development Ministry has issued the Circular containing the VoA to all ministry secretaries, Provincial Council chief secretaries and department heads. Attygalle has pointed out in the Circular that the public fiscal space has shrunk as there is a downturn of State income due to the prevailing crisis situation, while the expenditure has increased owing to COVID-19 and weather related natural disasters.

He has emphasized that there is a dire need to manage the public expenditure as borrowings are also limited. He has stressed that according to a Cabinet decision taken on May 20, construction of new buildings for public institutions must be postponed, expenses of low priority work must be deferred and recurrent expenditure must be strictly controlled. He has said that all Heads of Government institutions should take the responsibility to adhere to the above instructions.

“During this period, expenses should be incurred only for the priority projects and programmes that have already been started and must be continued. No new expenses on staff, supplies and services must be incurred and no new projects and work must be entered into. All expenses must be managed within the stipulated allocations. Give priority to settle the bills for already completed work,” Attygalle has underlined in the Circular. 

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