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2018 Budget – What to expect…


The third Budget of the Consensus Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be tabled in Parliament later this month.

The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday approved the 2018 Appropriation Bill submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Accordingly the Bill containing the estimated expenditure of the government for the period beginning from the 1st of January 2018 and ending on the 31st of December 2018 will be presented before Parliament by Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera.

The second reading of the 2018 Appropriation Bill or the Budget Speech by Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera will be held on the 9th of November.

The debate on the second reading will take place on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, and 15th of November while the Committee Stage Debate will be held from the 16th of November.

The vote on the third reading of the Budget will be taken on the 9th of December.

The Cabinet approved programme of budget debate for financial year 2018 as follows:

Budget Speech – 09 November 2017
Debate on second reading – 10,11,13,14 and 15 November 2017
Committee Stage Debate – from 16 November 2017
Vote on third reading of Budget – 09 December 2017

Meanwhile, the proposal tabled by Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera, to publish the 2018 Appropriation Bill in the gazette and present in Parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to the bill, the government’s estimated expenditure for the 2018 fiscal year was set at Rs.3,982 billion.
Total expenditure of the government – Rs.3,982 billion
Recurrent expenditure – Rs.1,308.9 billion
Capital expenditure – Rs.668 billion
Total of income on foreign grants – Rs.2,175 billion
Loans to be obtained from foreign sources – Rs.1,813 billion

Detailing the process of the preparation of the performance budget from next year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that priority would be given to ongoing and foreign funded projects where Key Performance Indicators based measurable outcomes are identified for each project.

Furthermore, the Minister said capital expenditure projects that have been earmarked for implementation by the National Planning Department for each Ministry would also be given priority provided the plans of such projects carry out KPIs.

The medium term macro–fiscal framework for 2018-2020 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers for the performance based budget preparation from the year 2018 include the rationalization of recurrent expenditure and prioritization of capital expenditure while enhancing the government revenue mobilization and public investment and reducing the budget deficit and the outstanding government debt.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the government expects such improvements in the performance of the public finance management for the realization of medium term economic growth of around 6 to 7 percent.

In 2018, major macroeconomic assumptions include, real GDP growth of 6 percent, inflation to stabilize at 5 percent and overall budget deficit to contain at 4.3 percent of GDP.

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