Jun 05, 2020

Finance Ministry prepares interim budget of Rs 1.04 trillion

The finance ministry has prepared an interim budget of Rs 1.04 trillion from June to August 2020, a move that would allow the President to spend money from the Consolidated Fund.

“The budget was made citing authority given to the President under the constitution to spend money in the absence of appropriations approved by parliament,” finance secretary S. R. Attygalle said.

The interim budget had been prepared against a backdrop in which Parliament has been dissolved for more than three months, with critics citing it as a constitutional violation.

According to the interim budget, Rs 398.8 billion has been allocated for capital expenses that include debt repayments, while Rs 644.1 billion has been allocated for current expenses.

“Due to the current crisis, state revenues had regressed, and fiscal space had reduced due to rising costs from Covid-19 and climate-related damage,” the Treasury said.

The finance ministry has received a lion’s share of the budget with Rs 546.1 billion, while the national election commission, which is preparing for a parliamentary poll has been allocated Rs 5.1 million.

“During this period, funds should be spent only on projects and programmes that have already commenced, and those that are essential to be continued,” Attygalle noted.

He stressed that the heads of state bodies must prioritize the settlement of bills for completed projects, postpone construction activities such as buildings for ministries, and also curb unnecessary expenses.

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)