Apr 27, Colombo: As public expenditure has to be strictly controlled so that it can only be used for the most essential services, the Ministry of Finance has issued a circular outlining the procedures to be followed in expenditure management and implementation of projects funded by local funds.
The circular has been issued to all Secretaries to Ministries, Secretaries to State Ministries, Chief Secretaries to Provincial Councils, Heads of Departments/District Secretaries, and Heads of State Corporations and Statutory Boards instructing them that public expenditure needs to be well-tightened, making it available only for the most essential services for a certain period.
Accordingly, all projects currently pending have been suspended temporarily.
All government institutions are instructed to strictly follow the restrictions already introduced by several circulars such as controlling the payment of fuel and communication allowances, restrictions of water and electricity expenditure, suspending the construction and hiring buildings, stopping foreign study tours and trainings conducted using local funds, suspending the payment of various allowances made at ministry or institution level without the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and avoiding any new commitments for various welfare/subsidy programs and development programs.
In addition to those instructions, the circular signed by the Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardene has outlined a series of measures need to be taken to keep the policy expenditure well-managed.
All Accounting officers and Chief Accounting Officers are required to ensure that all ministries, departments and institutions of the Government will follow the provisions listed until the current challenging situation is resolved and continue to act upon the said provisions until a decision is made in future.
“In discharging our responsibility as public servants towards the public welfare in this difficult situation, your support to establish a good, sustainable, public finance management to strengthen the macroeconomic stability and enhance quality of life of the general public through economic growth, is highly appreciated,” the circular concluded.
The complete circular is given below :