Most challenging budget in history to the Parliament on the 14th – State Minister of Finance

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that the most challenging budget of independent Sri Lanka will be presented to Parliament on November 14th.

Speaking at a press conference held in Kegalle today (31), the minister pointed out that the government led by the President will face the challenge of maintaining the people’s lives while protecting the economic sovereignty of the country in this year’s budget.

According to State Minister Siyambalapitiya, for the year 2023, the total expenditure of the government has been estimated at 7885 billion rupees. It is an increase of 1785 billion over the estimated expenditure of 6100 billion rupees for the year 2022, or an increase of 29.2%.

Out of the expenditure, 432 billion rupees has been allocated for health, 504 billion rupees for education, and 367 billion rupees for defense. The highest allocation of 572 billion rupees, which is the highest expenditure head, has been allocated for social security.

“All this is happening in a situation where 40 lakh or 69% of those 68 lakh families are asking for assistance from the government to live,” said the minister.

The expectation of this year’s budget is to increase the country’s income form 8.5% to 13% of the current gross domestic product, and for that, the state income should be increased from 875 to 900 billion rupees compared to last year. It is a 65% increase in government revenue, of which 90% is expected to come as tax revenue.

Pointing out that eight lawsuits have been filed against the first draft to raise the country’s tax revenue, the minister said that it is regrettable that even the opposition is acting traditionally at this difficult time.

Minister Siyambalapitiya, who said that the current negative 8% economic growth in Sri Lanka is expected to be around negative 3% this year, said that all this is happening in a situation where negotiations with the International Monetary Fund are at a crucial stage.

The State Minister of Finance noting that the President Ranil Wickramasinghe is facing the most difficult challenge on behalf of the entire people of the country, emphasized that he expects the commitment and understanding of all the people for that.

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