Business

Budgetary allocations for several ‘economic’ ministries slashed

The Appropriation Bill 2019, which was presented to Parliament recently, has reduced allocations made for several economically significant ministries in comparison to the Budget 2018.

Funds allocated to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Ministry of Plantation Industries and Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development have been decreased from the allocations made under the Budget 2018.

Meanwhile, allocated sums under several ministries including the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Christian Religious Affairs have increased under the Appropriation Bill 2019.

According to the Appropriation Bill, an allocation of Rs. 83 billion has been made to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media which comes under the purview of Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Allocation under the Ministry of Finance includes the recurrent expenditure of Rs. 42 billion and the capital expenditure of Rs. 47 billion.

In comparison to the Budget 2018, allocation under the Ministry for 2019 is Rs. 6 billion less as Rs. 95 billion was assigned in 2018, comprising Rs. 58 billion recurrent expenditure and Rs. 37 billion capital expenditure.

In the Budget 2017, the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media was allocated Rs. 62 billion – Rs. 33 billion lower than 2018. The recurrent expenditure and the capital expenditure were Rs. 26 billion and Rs. 36 billion respectively in the same year.

As per the extraordinary gazette notification which was issued in late December last year, the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media was given 48 institutions to administer – the largest number under a single ministry. The number includes all state-owned banks and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

However as of yesterday it is only the a Ministry of Finance, as Mass Media was placed under State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijeyawardena.

Under the Appropriation Bill 2019, the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development, and Youth Affairs, which comes under the Purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the subject minister, has been allocated with Rs. 98 billion.

The allocated sum includes Rs. 17 billion recurrent expenditure and Rs. 82 billion capital expenditure.
The total allocation is Rs. 73 billion higher than the previous year’s allocation as Budget 2018 apportioned Rs. 25 billion including Rs. 2 billion recurrent expenditure and Rs. 23 billion capital expenditure.

An allocation somewhat similar to the 2018 was made in the Budget 2017, as Rs. 27 billion was assigned for the Ministry, including a recurrent expenditure of Rs. 2 billion and capital expenditure of Rs. 24 billion.

The Ministry has 24 institutions under its purview including the University of Vocational Technology, Sri Lanka Institute of Printing, National Youth Corps, and Office for Reparations.

Ministry of Industry and Commerce which is overseen by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has been allocated with Rs. 13 billion which includes a recurrent expenditure of Rs. 3 billion and a capital expenditure of Rs. 10 billion.

The same allocations were made for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce under the Budget 2018, but the recurrent expenditure allocation was Rs. 2 billion and the current expenditure allocation was Rs. 11 billion.

In the Budget 2017, Rs. 11 billion was allocated under the Ministry of Commerce, comprising Rs. 2 billion for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 9 billion of capital expenditure.

Ministry of Industry and Commerce governs over 30 institutions including the Registrar of Companies, Consumer Affairs Authority, Lanka Sathosa Ltd., Department of Internal Trade, Lanka Leyland Ltd., Sri Lanka Cement Corporation, National Enterprise Development Authority, Laksala, National Paper Corporation, and Paranthan Chemicals Ltd.

The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade has been allocated Rs. 3 billion under the Appropriation Bill 2019 in which Rs. 1 billion is for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 2 billion for capital expenditure.

The allocation for the Ministry under the Appropriation Bill 2019 has been halved from the allocations made last year under the Budget 2018 as Rs. 6 billion was assigned for capital expenditure and Rs. 1 billion for recurrent expenditure last year.

In 2017, the Budget allocated only Rs. 1 billion for the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. In that year, Rs. 1 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 1 billion for capital expenditure.

The Import and Export Controller Department, Board of Investment (BOI), Export Development Board, and Department of Commerce are a few institutions which come under the purview of Minister Malik Samarawickrema.

Minister Navin Dissanayake’s Ministry of Plantation Industries has been allocated Rs. 1 billion less under the Appropriation Bill 2019 from the Budget 2018.

In the Bill, the Ministry of Plantation Industries has been given Rs. 9 billion which includes Rs. 4 billion for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 5 billion for capital expenditure.

The same amount of capital expenditure was allocated for the Ministry under the Budget 2018 but with a Rs. 5 billion allocation for recurrent expenditure.

The Budget 2017 carried Rs. 4 billion each for recurrent and capital expenditures for the Ministry making the total allocation Rs. 8 billion.

According to the Ministry of Plantation Industries, it governs 15 state institutions including the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Rubber Development Department, Coconut Research Institute, Sugarcane Research Institute, National Institute of Plantation Management, and the Thurusaviya Fund.

The tourism industry, being Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner, has been allocated an additional Rs. 3 billion this year, as the Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife, and Christian Religious Affairs’ allocation is Rs. 5 billion under the Appropriation Bill 2019.

The Ministry comes under the purview of Minister John Amaratunga.

The allocations have gradually increased since the Budget 2017, as Rs. 1 billion was allocated in 2017 with Rs. 0.3 billion each for the recurrent and capital expenditure and Rs. 2 billion being allocated under the Budget 2018 including Rs. 1 billion each for the recurrent and capital expenditure.
This year, the recurrent expenditure allocation of the Ministry is Rs. 2.5 billion and the capital expenditure is Rs. 3 billion.

Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Christian Religious Affairs supervises the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, and Department of Christian Religious Affairs.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Southern Development, overseen by Minister Sagala Ratnayake was allocated Rs. 4 billion this year – Rs. 3 billion less than the Budget 2018. Rs. 1 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure while the rest has been allocated for capital expenditure.

Under the Budget 2018, recurrent expenditure was Rs. 0.3 billion for the Ministry and capital expenditure was Rs. 6 billion while the overall allocation was Rs. 7 billion.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Southern Development received only Rs. 1 billion from the Budget 2017, which included Rs. 0.2 billion for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 0.7 billion for capital expenditure.

The Ministry monitors four institutions; namely, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Ceylon Shipping Corporation, Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy, and Director of Merchant Shipping.