Budget 2019 on Tuesday | Sunday Observer

Budget 2019 on Tuesday

Budget 2019 which aims to empower the people, reduce the budget deficit and bring down inflation will be presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday (5) at 2pm.

The Budget for 2019, which was due in November last year, comes after a three-month delay and a vote on account in January due to the political instability in the country at the time.

The Budget is aimed at empowering the people and entrepreneurship, in terms of building human resources, education and skills development.

The budget has laid emphasis on the human resource base to suit the needs of the economy, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne told the Sunday Observer.

He said at present there is a mismatch of employment and some of the skills needed in the economy are not found in the human resource base. Therefore, the Budget has considered this aspect too. Special attention has been focused to create more space and give incentives to new entrepreneurs within a stable macroeconomic environment and to stress on policies such as tax reforms.

He said another important aspect is that the Budget would expend more on health, education and up-skilling people for the economy and strengthen the entrepreneurial base in the country. These are some of the empowering features in the Budget. Enterprise Sri Lanka will be expanded to provide the much needed financing to propel industries and the incentives for it”,” he said.

According to Finance Ministry sources this year’s Budget will strengthen the ongoing fiscal consolidation programs and achieve several Medium Term Fiscal Targets by year 2021. Budget 2019 will focus on reducing the Budget deficit to 3.5 percent of the GDP and maintain the outstanding Government debt below 70 percent of the GDP.

They said Budget 2019 will also unveil plans to increase Government revenue to exceed 17 percent of the GDP by 2021 and limit the Government’s recurrent expenditure to 15 percent of the GDP and maintain the capital expenditure around 5.5 percent of the GDP. The Budget will strive to maintain the increase in Government revenue which had shown significant growth since 2015.

The debate on the Second Reading of the Budget will be from March 6 to 12 and the vote on the Second Reading will be taken on March 12 at 5pm. The Committee Stage Debate will continue from March 13 to April 5 and the vote on the Third Reading will be taken on April 5 at 5pm.