Appropriation Bill for 2019 will empower the poor | Sunday Observer

Appropriation Bill for 2019 will empower the poor

The Appropriation Bill for the 2019 fiscal year which will be presented in Parliament by the second week of January will empower the poor, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremaratne told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

According to the State Minister, the next Budget aims at giving priority for Gam Udawa - the housing development program, Gamperaliya - the social infrastructure development program and Enterprise Sri Lanka- the local entrepreneurship development program.

“The upcoming Budget will be different to the previous Budget we had planned to bring in for 2019. Especially, we had to revisit certain areas due to the political crisis that had taken place. We are still calculating the cost of the crisis. As of now there is a US$ 150 million increase in the interest component alone in the economy due to the crisis,” he said.

“They are accountable for what they did to the economy. But we have no intention of spending our time on that. We must move forward with the Budget and lead to a social transition in the next year” he added.

One of the key stakeholders in the Government, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress also said recently that the next Budget has to be more ‘People friendly’ to maintain the popularity of the government.

“We have increased the budgetary allocation for Gamperaliya, especially, by launching more projects. We will empower the business community and new entrepreneurs under the Enterprise Sri Lanka project”, said Wickremaratne.

Once the Appropriation Bill is presented in Parliament it will be tabled within the next two months.

The Vote on Account to cover the expenditure of the first four months of 2019 was passed in Parliament with a majority. Government expenditure from January to May has been set at Rs 1,765 bn with most of it being allocated for debt servicing.