HEALTH, EDUCATION TO GET Rs 290 bn in 2019

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Government has allocated Rs 185 billion for health and Rs 105 billion for education for 2019, according to the Appropriation Bill gazetted last Friday.

The figures show an increase compared to the allocations made in Budget 2018. The ‘Budget 2019’ will be presented for first reading in Parliament during the second week of October.

The Budget speech will be delivered by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on November 5. The total estimated expenditure of the Government for next year is Rs 4,376 billion which is an increase of Rs. 394 billion when compared to the estimated expenditure for this year. The Bill has set an upper ceiling limit of Rs. 1944 billion for borrowing for next financial year.

The Government expects total revenue of Rs 2,432 billion for 2019 and compared to the estimates for this year this is an increase of Rs. 257 billion.

The highest allocation has been made to the Defence Ministry as usual and the corresponding figure is Rs 306 billion. Compared to the estimates for this year, this is an increase of nearly Rs. 16 billion.

The expenditure estimated for the President for next year shows a significant increase to Rs 13.4 billion from the estimated Rs. 9.98billion in 2018. Out of that sum Rs. 2.8 billion is for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 10.5 billion is for capital expenditure. Out of the total allocated sum, Rs. 8.2 billion is for development activities while the rest is to cover operational activities.

The Prime Minister’s Office has been allocated Rs 1.6 billion for next year and the figure shows a marginal increase compared to the allocation for 2018.

The nine independent commissions, which were set up under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, namely the Public Service, Judicial Service, National Police, Bribery, Human Rights Election, Audit Service, National Procurement and Delimitation have been allocated a lump sum of Rs 7.68 billion for next year.

Next year’s allocation for operational activities of Parliament has increased from Rs 2.9 billion in 2018 to Rs. 3.5 billion. The Government has allocated Rs. 138 million for the operational activities of the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers. An allocation of Rs. 277 million has been made for the judges of the superior courts.

The Government has made an allocation of Rs 169 billion for the Finance and Mass Media Ministry for next year and compared to 2018 this is a reduction by Rs. 58 billion. The Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry has been allocated Rs. 83 billion and the National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry has been allocated Rs. 58 billion.

Some more key allocations include Rs. 69 billion for the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, Rs. 175 billion for the Highways and Road Development Ministry, Rs 63 billion for the Agriculture Ministry, Rs 245 billion for the Local Government and Provincial Council Ministry, Rs. 48 billion for the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, and Rs. 4.1 billion for the Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry.

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