Sri Lanka can meet 5.4-pct budget deficit target for 2016: Ravi

Sep 30, 2016 (LBO) – Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Sri Lanka is well on its way to achieving the fiscal target for 2016 as the Value Added Tax increase would be presented in Parliament next week.

“Revenue collection is largely on target despite delays in passing the VAT amendments, and we are confident of meeting the 2016 Budget deficit target of 5.4 percent,” Ravi Karunanayake, finance minister said.

“Of the total 410 Budget proposals presented last year, over 100 had been put into operation. Only 10 to 15 of the Budget proposals were of ‘great importance’ and only VAT had taken extra time to be carried out.”

He said issues such as VAT for non-VAT registered traders would be ironed out in the new Budget to be presented in Parliament on 10 November and the Budget 2017 will adopt a zero-based budgeting strategy.

“It is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period.”

“You take ownership for the claim. All funds will be looked at from an internal rate of return, cost benefit analysis, value for money, national planning and treasury before getting the Cabinet approval.”

The minister also accused some politicians of spreading false stories.

“These are the biggest challenges in presenting Budget 2017, but I do not foresee any in the immediate future.”

“Other than political hurdles we do not see any future challenges and the Government will work very hard to develop the economy.”