Sep 30, 2018

Defence gets lion’s share of Budget 2019 with over Rs306bn Featured

Budgetary allocation for the Defence sector next year will go up further to over Rs 306 billion, according to the Appropriation Bill for 2019.

Of this, close to Rs 275 billion will go towards Recurrent expenditure, while Capital expenditure will account for around Rs 32 billion. The highest allocation of Rs 290 billion in 2018, also went towards the Defence sector.

The Defence allocations cover the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Department of Civil Security and the Department of Sri Lanka Coastguard.

Several other sectors will see sharp hikes in their annual allocations in next year’s Budget, including Agriculture which has a near threefold increase, from Rs 23 billion in 2017 to over Rs 63 billion in 2018. Other sectors are Transport & Civil Aviation, National Polices & Economic Affairs, City Planning & Water Supply, Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Women & Child Affairs and the Office of the President.

Total Government expenditure for 2019 is estimated at Rs 2,281.5 billion (Rs 2,281,682,472,000) for the service of the period January 1, 2019-December 31, 2019. The limit on borrowings for 2019 has been set at Rs 1,944 billion.

The Appropriation Bill was gazetted by the Minister of Finance and Mass Media this week, and will be presented to Parliament next month. It provides for the service of the financial year 2019, including authorising the raising of loans in or outside Sri Lanka.

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the Budget to Parliament on November 5. The Budget debate will continue for a month and end on December 8, when the Appropriation Bill will be put to a final vote.