Government will bring a people’s Budget: Ravi Karunanayake

Oct 31, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s budget for 2017 on Nov 10 will be a people’s budget as it would incorporate ideas proposed from all corners of the country, the Finance Minister said in a statement.

“The Ministry of Finance has already received over 2200 proposals from the people. This also includes proposals from other sectors of the economy, trade unions; trade chambers corporate sectors, companies and the individual firms,” the finance ministry said.

Karunanayake said he had visited places such as Mavil Aru in Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa and Galle and several other districts.

Further the minister also had discussions with Trade union representatives and others who represent various sectors of the economy such as tourism, poultry industry, vehicle importers, trade and industry in Colombo and the provinces.

“For the first time in the history of budget making the finance ministry has obtained the services of academics to have a systematic survey on the needs of the people.”

Teams of academics from ten national universities recently handed over their findings of the surveys conducted at the Divisional Secretariat level island wide. These academics teams with the assistance of the Ministry of Finance had conducted systematic surveys on the economic needs of the people covering 332 DS divisions in the country with the aegis of respective Divisional Secretaries.

“The budget with the incorporation of the proposals from the people and the government policy of transforming the country into a manufacturing economy will have many surprises beneficial to all and the concessions given by way of price reduction of essential goods and services will continue unabated,” Karunanayake said.

Finance Minister said that all these proposals were being studied before finalizing the budget as the government has adopted a bottom up approach to make the budget a reality.

All these years the previous governments have been in the habits of adopting top bottom approach for budget making which was also considered imperative to maintain the Macro economic variables.

Karunanayake said the government has decided to discontinue the system of incremental budget allocation from this year and instead all ministries have been allocated funds on Zero based budget proposals put forward by the ministries in accordance with the government’s national economic priority plans.

Accordingly, all ministries had to submit their annual action plans before finalizing the allocations and they would be required to strictly adhere to and monitor implementation of the plan.

Financial allocations to all line ministries would be based on their action plans in order to achieve the government’s policy of generating one million job opportunities, enhance income levels, develop rural economies, ensure land ownership to rural and estate sectors, the middle class and government employees, and create a wide and a strong middle class without any restrictions.