Budget 2019 new allocations | Daily News

Budget 2019 new allocations

There is a significant increase in the estimates of the Government expenditure and Government borrowings when compared with those estimates prepared prior to the political crisis late last year.

The Government initially published the Appropriation Bill for 2019 in September last year, but since it could not present the Budget as scheduled on November 5, the Appropriation Bill was gazetted again last Friday with revisions.

According to new estimates, the Government borrowings for this year has increased by Rs.256 billion from Rs.1,944 billion given in the previous estimates to Rs.2,200 billion.

This is the highest ever amount required for debt servicing in the history of Sri Lanka. The total government expenditure, which was previously estimated to be Rs 4,376 billion, has increased to Rs. 4,470 billion. This is an increase by Rs.488 billion compared with the estimated Government Expenditure in 2018.

The total Government revenue is expected to be approximately Rs.2,400 billion this year. Another significant change is the increase of allocation for the Defence Ministry from Rs 306 billion given in the previous estimates 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 Elections Commission has been allocated Rs 4.8 billion for 2019, which is predicted to be an ‘election year’.

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 ‘Budget 2019’ will be presented for the first reading in Parliament on February 5, and the Budget speech will be delivered by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on March 5.

The expenditure estimated for the President for this year shows a significant increase to Rs 13.5 billion from the estimated Rs 9.98billion in the previous year. 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 a sum of Rs.6.2bilion.

The allocation for Parliament is Rs.3.5 billion. The Government has made an allocation of Rs 183.8 billion for the Finance and Mass Media Ministry. Some more key allocations include 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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