June 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has authorized a total of Rs.1,043 billion from the Consolidated Fund for the uninterrupted continuation of Government services and development activities from June 1 to the August 31.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has authorized the funds from the Consolidated Fund for expenditure in terms of provisions of Paragraph (3) of Article 150 of the Constitution.
This is the third ‘Vote on Account’ (VoA) for this year as the budget for 2020 is further delayed.
The relevant circular has been issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle this week to all secretaries to ministries, chief secretaries of provincial councils, and heads of departments.
Out of the authorized amount, Rs. 644.2 billion has been allocated or recurrent expenditure while Rs. 398.8 billion will be for capital expenditure,
The total allocation of Rs. 1,043 billion for June-August 2020 is Rs. 181 billion down from the allocation for the previous three months. The President authorized Rs.1,224.9 billion from the Consolidated Fund in the second ‘Vote on Account’ (VoA) for the three months from March to the end of May.
Treasury Secretary, S. R. Attygalle in the circular has stressed the need to restrain the expenditure as much as possible given the prevailing health crisis.
“The fiscal space had reduced due to the regression of state revenues due to the prevailing crisis situation and to the rising costs from COVID_19 disaster and weather related damage,” the Treasury Secretary said.
“In addition, since borrowings is limited with constitutional limits a critical need has risen to manage public expenditure in the future,” Treasury said advising “moneys should only be spend on continuing existing subjects and projects.”
The highest allocation in the VoA has been made to the Finance, Economic and Policy Development Ministry held by Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the corresponding figure is Rs. 546 billion. Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry has been allocated Rs. 154 billion, and the Defense Ministry has been allocated Rs. 107 billion.
Healthcare and Indigenous Medical Services Ministry has been allocated Rs. 43.1 billion and the National Election Commission has been allocated Rs. 5.1billion, which should cover the expenditure for the forthcoming General Election.
An allocation of Rs. 31.9 billion has been made to the Roads and Highways Ministry. A sum of Rs. 860 million has been allocated for the expenditure of the President and Rs. 270 million for the Office of the Prime Minister for the three months. These also include costs for institutions coming under the purview of the President and the Prime Minister. Parliament has been allocated Rs. 752 million.