No more promises

A new law to prevent abuse of public funds while committing the government to its budget targets will come before the house soon.
In addition to putting spending plans of the government in power under the strict scrutiny the proposed Fiscal Responsibility Act will also expose the impact of vote catching election proposals on the public purse.

rnOfficials say manifestos of major parties are likely to be referred to the Central Bank to asses the long- term impact on government finances.

The first set of manifestos could face this acid test if a general election is announced after the act is passed.

rnPre-election vote buying exercises such as sudden salary and pension increases are likely to be more difficult under this law.

rnUnder the proposed law the Central Bank is required to investigate and comment on all government spending plans within one week.

The finance minister will also have to make a fiscal statement at beginning of every year and account for any deviation from the budget numbers