Jan 03, Colombo: The government will present its budget for the 2019 which was delayed due to the political upheaval in the country after October 26 last year, in parliament on March 5.
The Appropriation Bill for the year 2019 was presented in Parliament on the 09th of October 2018 and as President Maithripala Sirisena prorogued the Parliament on 27 October, just days before the presentation of the budget on 5 November, the approval of Parliament could not be obtained for the Bill.
In terms of the statutory provisions, a Vote on Account was presented in Parliament on the 21st of December, 2018 for covering the Government expenditure for the first four months of the year 2019 until the re-submission of a new Appropriation Bill and obtaining the approval for same and it was passed on the same day.
As such, a fresh Appropriation Bill incorporating the expenditure for the first four months of the year 2019 covered by the Vote on Account has to be presented in Parliament for approval.
The 2019 budget aims to strengthening the ongoing fiscal consolidation programs and to achieve several Medium Term Fiscal Targets by the year 2021.
The budget will present plans to increase Government revenue to exceed 17 percent of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) by 2021 and limit government recurrent expenditure to 15 percent of the GDP.
The 2019 budget expects to maintain Government Public Investment at 5.5 percent of the GDP and limit Budget Deficit to 3.5 percent of the GDP while maintaining the outstanding Government debt below 70 percent of the GDP.
Accordingly, the proposal made by Minister of Finance & Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera prepare the National Budget 2019 with a view to achieve those targets, was approved by the Cabinet.