AsiaNews | Colombo | Thursday, 29 Sep 2018 | by Claude Gunasekera : The Government of Sri Lanka is expecting total revenue of Rs 2,432 billion for 2019, which is a higher forecast up by 257 billion compared to last year. The total estimated expenditure of the Government for next year is Rs 4,376 billion an increase of Rs. 394 billion. The deficit of Rs.1944 billion will be on borrowings and the bill has set an upper ceiling limit for this amount in next financial year, according to the Appropriation Bill, gazetted last Friday.

The ‘Budget 2019’ will be presented for first reading in Parliament during the second week of October. Finance and Mass Media Minister of Sri Lanka Mangala Samaraweera will deliver the budget speech on November 5.

The highest allocation has been made to the Defense Ministry as usual and the corresponding figure is Rs 306 billion. Compared to the estimates for this year, this is an increase of nearly Rs. 16 billion. It is allocated Rs 185 billion for health and Rs.105 billion for education. The Rs.290 billion for both these sectors shows an increase compared to the allocations of last year.

Estimated expenditure for the President for next year shows a significant increase amounting to Rs 13.4 billion compared to Rs. 9.98 billion in 2017. Out of that sum Rs. 2.8 billion is for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 10.5 billion is for capital expenditure. Out of the total allocated sum, Rs. 8.2 billion is for development activities while the rest is to cover operational activities. Allocated amount for the Prime Minister’s Office is Rs.1.6 billion with a marginal increase than last year.

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 lump sum of Rs 7.68 billion.

Next year’s allocation for operational activities of Parliament has increased from Rs 2.9 billion to Rs. 3.5 billion. The Government has allocated Rs.138 million for the operational activities of the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers. An allocation of Rs. 277 million has been made for the judges of the supreme courts.

Rs 169 billion for the Finance and Mass Media Ministry for next year showing a reduction by Rs. 58 billion compared to last year. Further, Rs. 83 billion to Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry Rs.58 billion to National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry have been allocated.

Some more key allocations included Rs. 69 billion for the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, Rs. 175 billion for the Highways and Road Development Ministry, Rs 63 billion for the Agriculture Ministry, Rs 245 billion for the Local Government and Provincial Council Ministry, Rs. 48 billion for the Mega polis and Western Development Ministry, and Rs. 4.1 billion for the Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry.

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