The Ministry of Defence will receive the biggest budgetary allocation amounting to a massive Rs.1,583,507,600 or Rs.158.83 billion in the 2018 Budget, which would be presented in Parliament by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on November 9.
This amount is in addition to the budgetary allocations for the three armed forces.
Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Cabinet approved the 2018 Appropriation Bill submitted by Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday.
According to the Appropriation Bill, the President’s office has been allocated Rs.487,352,500 while the Prime Minister's office an allocation of Rs.177,268,000
Minister Jayasekara told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that the government's total expenditure for 2018 would be Rs. 3,982 billion and Rs.668 billion as the capital expenditure. The recurrent expenditure for 2018 stands at Rs.1,308.9 billion, the total income on foreign grants is estimated at Rs.2,175 billion while the loans to be obtained from foreign sources is estimated at Rs.1,813 billion.
The second reading of the 2018 Budget will be held on November 10,11,13,14 and 15 while the Committee stage debate will be from November 16 with the vote on the third reading of budget fixed for December 9.
“Based on the Medium Term Budgetary Framework 2018-2020 and the policy framework of the government, the General Treasury has conducted budget discussions with the line ministries and other spending agencies. Accordingly, budgetary provisions have been made taking into consideration of the total resource envelope available in 2018,” Minister Samaraweera told the Cabinet in his memo.
"The expenditure provisions covered in the Appropriation Bill have been estimated at Rs.1,977,264 million consisting of Rs.1,308,939 million for recurrent expenditure and Rs.668,324 million for capital expenditure. In addition, provisions have been made under special laws to service public debt and payment of Widows and Orphans Pension etc, amounting to Rs.2,005,103 million. The provision requirement for Advance Account Activities is Rs.6,000 million. Hence, the total expenditure provision for 2018 without budget proposals to be introduced at the Second Reading of the budget is estimated at Rs.3,982,367 million," he said.
Minister Mangala Samaraweera has told the Cabinet, the revenue at the prevailing rate structure and foreign grants was been estimated at Rs.2,175,000 million and therefore, the total borrowing requirement from both foreign and domestic sources will be Rs.1,813,367 million.
The Appropriation Bill has been drafted by the Legal Draftsman with the Attorney General expressing the opinion that the provisions of the draft Bill are not inconsistent with the Constitution and the draft Bill is not subject to any prohibition or restriction imposed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and therefore the Bill may be enacted by Parliament. (Sandun A Jayasekera)