Sri Lanka makes spending allocations as 2018 budgeting starts
Oct 09, 2017 07:05 AM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka will present an appropriations bill, setting out allocations for subjects in the so-called first reading of the budget law for 2018, with defence, pensions, health, highway and education in large allocations, not counting the interest bill, which is the top spending item.
The government has allocated 290.7 billion rupees to defence, with the Sri Lanka army getting 156 billion rupees, making it the top expenditure item behind interest costs.
The Pensions department had been allocated 181 billion rupees, with state worker retirement benefits being unfunded and being paid with day-to-day taxes collected from the people.
Sri Lanka has a bloated state service, with politicians, their spouses and offspring, who are placed as private secretaries and personal getting lifetime pensions after only working for five years.
Health was allocated 178.39 billion rupees, with the bulk of it going to the Western medicine system.
Education was allocated 142.3 billion rupees, with 44.3 billion rupees going to universities and 97.9 billion rupees to the primary education system.
Highways was allocated 138 billion rupees, with 135 billion rupees going for capital expenditure.
The appropriations bill outlined a total of 2,005 billion rupees in spending and 1,997 billion rupees in revenue.
The numbers, however, do not correspond to the formal budget presented in the so-called second reading, which has additional spending and revenue measures.
In Sri Lanka, interest on loans taken to finance deficits in previous years is now the biggest spending item. Last year, a provision of 680 million rupees was made for interest costs.
In Sri Lanka, a large number of ad hoc revenue measures introduced each year make citizens look at budgets with fear and trepidation, while rent seekers expect benefits, undermining stability in the business environment. (Colombo/Oct09/2017)