Only 3% of the proposals in the 2017 budget have shown any progress while information on the progress of 51% of the budget proposals tackled has not been disclosed, a research carried out by a private think tank organization has revealed.
An analysis carried out by Verite Research had revealed that 51% of the budget proposals tackled has not been disclosed while 14% of the proposals have not been carried out while 32% are behind schedule. Only 3 percent of the proposals have shown a progress.
Only 24 percent of the statements of budget speech 2017 have been ones which one could feel good about and 30 percent of it have been expenditure proposals, 8 percent revenue proposals, 30 percent regulatory challenges and 2 percent political statements, the research also revealed.
Research Director Verite Reseach Subhashini Abeysinghe told a media briefing that out of the 51 right to information applications filed by the research team; only 15 got a response within the stipulated time period. According to the research, the most open government agencies which were ready to provide information and were open were the Information and Communication Technology Agency, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Housing and Construction, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Development, and Ministry of Power and Energy. The most closed government agencies have been Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply and Ministry of Defense.
Executive Director Verite Research Dr. Nishan De Mel said this could be the case with all the governments that had ruled the country in the past few decades. He said it is not clear as to what had happened to the funds which have been allocated for the projects which are not disclosed.
Government MP and Member of Oversight Committee on Finance Professor Ashubodha Marasinghe who also attended the media briefing said the inefficiency level of some ministries have been less than 50 percent that had failed to utilize funds allocated for them. “The Oversight Committee had revealed this from the study it had done on ministries in the recent past,” he said.
“We found out that some ministries have planned to spend funds for unwanted projects such as spending for new buildings and we have ordered the ministries to stop these projects. It was possible to cut down some of the expenses” the MP added. (Yohan Perera)