Sri Lanka 2010 budget may be delayed: report

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Sept 27, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka government’s budget for 2010 which is usually presented to parliament in November may be delayed till after elections expected in April, a media report said. Another IMF mission is due in November. It is not clear whether the 2010 structural benchmark for December 31, 2010 will be dropped in the new agreement.

The IMF said next year’s budget deficit is likely to be around 6.5 to 6.75 percent of gross domestic product when 0.5 to 0.75 northern reconstruction spend is built in.

Some economists have recently expressed views that the administration, which is widely expected to sweep the polls, may adopt policies in the longer term interest of the people of Sri Lanka after the elections.

In Sri Lanka short term policies that bring immediate political gains for a politically vociferous few, but damage the country and the common people in the longer term are popular with all political parties.

So-called ‘election budgets’ usually expand spending and have minimal tax increases, resulting in money printing, high interest rates and macro-economic instability later.

The leader of the opposition recently accused the government of not hiring mor