The Appropriation Bill for the Budget 2014 was presented in Parliament today showing a total government expenditure of Rs.1,542 and a borrowing limit of up to Rs.1,100 billion.
The Bill specifies the highest allocation of Rs.253 billion for the Defence and Urban Development Ministry for next year, a decrease from the Rs.290 billion announced for this year. However, the newly formed ‘Law and Order Ministry has been allocated Rs.51 billion. The police service which was earlier under the purview of the Defence and Urban Development has now been placed under this ministry.
The Bill that outlines allocations for each ministry was presented to Parliament by the Government. Of the Defence allocation appropriated for the next year, Rs.210 billion is meant for recurrent expenditure and Rs.43 billion for capital expenditure. A bulk of the amount set aside as recurrent expenditure is normally used to pay salaries to members of the security forces.
The second highest allocation of Rs.163 billion is apportioned to the Finance and Planning Ministry, and the third highest of Rs.105 billion to the Economic Development Ministry. For the Health Ministry, Rs.117 billion has been appropriated for 2014. Of this amount Rs.95 billion is for the recurrent expenditure.
The Education Ministry will receive Rs.38 billion (Rs.26 billion for recurrent and Rs.12 billion for capital expenditure), the Higher Education Ministry Rs.29 billion and Rs.7 billion for the newly established Education Services Ministry.
The newly created Sugar Industry Development Ministry gets Rs.91 million as announced in the appropriation bill. The Investment Promotion Ministry, another new ministry established this year, will get Rs.110 million. The Ministry of Wild Life Resources and Conservation will get Rs.1.3 billion as a new ministry. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)