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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

2019 Appropriation Bill presented in the Parliament

Colombo, 10 October, (Asiantribune.com):

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill. (Budget 2019) for the first reading in Parliament.

The budget process for the next year started yesterday with the presentation of the Appropriation Bill 2019 by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, setting out spending allocations for individual ministries ahead of the actual budget.

The ‘Budget 2019’ themed as, “A strong economy and a prosperous nation” is scheduled to be presented in the parliament on November 5.

In the meantime, the Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the method adopted to present Appropriation Bill and said the budget speech should be made one month after the presentation of the appropriation Bill and as such the government could not have the budget speech as scheduled on November 5.

House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said it was a matter of three days. Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said the matter would be looked into.

The total estimated expenditure of the Government for the next year is Rs 4,376 billion, which is an increase of Rs. 394 billion, compared to the estimated expenditure for this year, and the expected total revenue for the year is Rs 2,432 billion., which is an increase of Rs. 394 billion, compared to the estimated expenditure for this year. The Bill has set a ceiling of Rs. 1,944 billion for borrowing for the next financial year.

The highest allocation has been made for Defence; it is Rs 306 billion. Compared to the estimates for the current year, this is an increase of nearly Rs. 16 billion.

The expenditure estimated for the President for next year shows a significant increase to Rs. 13.4 billion from the estimated Rs. 9.98 billion in 2018. Out of that amount Rs. 2.8 billion is for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 10.5 billion for capital expenditure. Out of the total allocated sum, Rs. 8.2 billion is for development activities while the balance is for operational activities.

Rs 1.6 billion has been allocated for the Prime Minister’s Office for the next year and the figure shows a marginal increase compared to the allocation for 2018.

Prime Minister’s office has been allocated Rs 1,667,470,000 has been allocated for the Prime Minister’s office and of the amount 723,200,000 would be capital expenditure and Rs 944,270,000 recurrent expenditure. PM’s Office received Rs 1,772,680,000 this year.

The nine independent commissions, 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 will receive Rs. 7.68 billion for the next year.

The next year’s allocation for operational activities of Parliament has increased from Rs 2.9 billion in 2018 to Rs. 3.5 billion. It 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 superior courts.

Rs 169 billion has been allocated for the Finance and Mass Media Ministry for next year, compared to 2018 there has been a decrease of Rs. 58 billion. The Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry will receive Rs. 83 billion and the National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry Rs. 58 billion.

Some other key allocations include 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 Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, and Rs. 4.1 billion for the Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry.

Amount allocated for health and nutrition has been increased to Rs 18.4 billion compared to Rs.18.3 billion in 2018. The situation is same with education with Rs.105,100,000,000 allocated for 2019 compared to Rs.102,880,000,000 in 2018. Amount allocated for the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Council is Rs.245,651,800,000, of which a greater share has been allocated to the Southern Provincial Council amounting to Rs 2.6 billion. Rs 83,500,000,000 has been allocated for higher education.

- Asian Tribune -

2019 Appropriation Bill presented in the Parliament
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