Budget 2017 – Sri Lanka
Finance Minister Mr. Ravi Karunanayake will present the third budget of the National Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday at 2.00 pm in the Parliament. This will be the 70th Budget of independent Sri Lanka. Mr. Karunanayake will unveil it as a full time Finance minister after Mr Ronnei de Mel did it under then J.R. Jayewardene government through 1988.
The Minister of Finance said that 2017 Budget will be a pro-growth budget which will focus on the deficiencies for the last several years. Accordingly the budget would have proposals to rectify all the anomalies that are there to deal with export sector to create job.
“It will be a real over view and over look of all the sectors of the economy that is beneficial to the people in the short run and long run,” summarized the minister about his budget secrets.
The minister said that the economy inherited was not an easy for any Finance Minister to manage due to over Rs 9.9 trillion public debt besides Rs 1.2 TRILLION debt off the balance sheet. However, with strict financial discipline, the government was able to pay attention on the financial consolidation and reducing the budget deficit.
Minister Karunanayake said that the government targets a fiscal deficit of 3.5 percent of GDP by 2020 where it has planned to reduce it to 4.7 percent next year from a targeted 5.4 Percent in 2016
The value of the GDP has increased to Rs 11,183 Billion (US$ 82.3 B) in 2015 from Rs.6,414 Billion (US$ 56.7B) in 2010. Sri Lanka has a new phenomenon in its expenditure chain where a sizeable portion goes to social welfare and subsidies. The next year’s budget will allocate around Rs 380 billion on welfare and subsidies.
Once the Budget is presented in the Parliament on Thursday the debate on the second reading and the committee stage will continue till 10 December including Saturday