(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Ministry of Finance and Media announced yesterday (7th Jan.) that the government has been able to achieve Rs 21.9 billion surplus in the primary balance of the fiscal accounts during the first ten months of the year 2017 which is for the first time in the last 63 years.
Stating that this is due to the efficient management of the State revenue and expenditure, press release issued by the Ministry says that in the post independent Sri Lankan history a surplus in the budget deficit was first recorded by 0.5 percent of the GDP in the year 1954. Later in 1956 this budget surplus had increased to 2.2 percent of the GDP.
It further added that in the meantime the surplus in the current account was registered from 1950 to 1970 and later from 1973 to 1994. Since then up to now overall budget deficit, deficit in the current account and the deficit in the primary balance were in negative growth continuously.
During the first ten months of the year 2017, the surplus in the budget primary balance was Rs 21.9 billion. It was in negative by Rs 37 billion during the corresponding period of 2016. The Treasury officials are in the opinion that the favourable situation in the primary balance is a sign of positive growth in the economic development and it would further enhance the capacity to manage the debt repayment efficiently. Having an excess in the state revenue more than the whole state expenditure minus the interest payment is known as the surplus in primary balance.
The State revenue when compared with the first ten months of 2016 has increased by 10.4 percent to Rs 1473 billion in 2017. It was Rs 1333 billion during the same period in 2016. The Tax revenue during the same period has increased by 14.2 percent to Rs 1470 billion in 2017.
Also, the State expenditure has increased by 9.5 percent from Rs 1881 billion to Rs 2060 billion. The interest expenditure during the first ten month of 2017 is alone Rs 609 billion apart from the domestic and foreign debt repayment of Rs 856 billion.