Disaster Management Ministry underspends | Sunday Observer

Disaster Management Ministry underspends

The Ministry of Disaster Management has only utilized eight percent of its allocated capital expenditure budget for Administration and Establishment Services, according to its Annual Performance Report for 2016 prepared in accordance with Circular No. 402 of the Department of Public Finance.

As per the report, the estimated provisions for capital expenditure under Administration and Establishment Services stood at Rs. 260,600,000 while the expenditure has been calculated at Rs 21,796,424, indicating an expenditure of eight percent out of the total estimate. Other components of expenditure allocated for the Minister’s office and recurrent expenditure under Administration and Establishment Services is calculated at over 95 percent.

The secretary to the Ministry, S. Miyanwala told the Sunday Observer that capital allocations are for projects and obtaining capital goods by the Ministry.

According to an expert on the subject matter and a public service official, this allocation should ideally be utilized for projects, awareness programs, investigations and research that are to be carried out by the ministry or organizations that operate under the preview of the Ministry.

“Although awareness programs could be conducted at a reduced expense, investigations into landslide areas and preventive actions that need to be taken once high risk areas are located are very high. And it is for such projects that the capital budget should be utilized,” he said. The National Building and Research Organisation (NBRO), Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Meteorology Department and the National Disaster Relief Services Centre (NDRSC) are organizations that operate under the Ministry.

“All agencies, National Disaster Relief Services Centre, Department of Meteorology, National Building Research Organization and Disaster Management Centre under the purview of this Ministry implement the assigned tasks and particular policy activities of the Ministry pre disaster, during disaster and post disaster situation in an effective manner, and protect human lives, properties and services; ensure the safety of the community towards a resilient society and implement the post disaster programs,” the report stated.

When the Sunday Observer contacted Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa for his comments, he requested to contact him later. But when contacted later, he failed to answer the phone.