Committee On Public Finance: Second report today
By Sarah Hannan
The second report of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) on the budget proposal is scheduled to be presented in Parliament today (2), to clarify whether this year’s budget is in line with government policy.
COPF Chairman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa had informed the committee members that this report will be presented to Parliament within the stipulated time frame after many years in accordance with Standing Order 121.
The COPF met in Parliament on Monday (30 November) under the chairmanship of Yapa to discuss the final draft of the relevant report. Members of the COPF State Minister of Education Reforms, Open Universities, Distance Learning Promotion Susil Premajayantha and Parliamentarians Dr. Harsha de Silva, Dilan Perera, and Isuru Dodangoda were present at the meeting.
The committee agreed to the recommendation made in the budget to obtain foreign loans as a future plan to invest more in areas such as education. Meanwhile, Dr. de Silva pointed out that the committee should seek the assistance of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to include the latest economic data on Sri Lanka in this report.
When the COPF met on 26 November, Ministry of Finance and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle, in response to a question raised by the COPF Chairman regarding the government revenue for the year 2020, revealed that 74% of the 2020 fiscal revenue has been received so far and that amount is Rs. 1,124 billion out of the expected total government revenue of Rs. 1,580 billion.
The committee met to review the allocation of funds within six weeks of the presentation of the budget in accordance with Standing Order 121 and to submit a report to Parliament on the estimation.
Dr. de Silva pointed out that it is very important that all data related to the budget be extremely accurate as it will have a severe impact on the future economic situation of the country, both locally and internationally.
At that time, Yapa asked Attygalle whether there could be any positive expectations regarding the revenue for the year 2020, and he noted that while the economic downturn in the first quarter of the year was real, expectations for the second and third quarters were very positive.