Sri Lanka citizen activist calls for more budget transparency

July 27, 2012 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan citizen and former top business executive, has called for greater transparency in disclosing budget numbers including present values of future liabilities and an overall public deficit figure. Chandra Jayaratne, a former head of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said better disclosures should be made by the finance ministry under the country’s fiscal responsibility law.

“It is essential that the Fiscal Gap disclosures relate separately to the Central Government as well the independent government entities with substantial impact on the consolidated fiscal position of the nation,” Jayaratne said, in a letter to several professional associations.

“These key institutions with significant local and foreign debt include, the Electricity Board, Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Urban Development Authority, Air Lanka /Mihin Lanka Consolidated and Air Ports and Aviation Services Authority.”

Jayaratne also copied the letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also finance minister and key officials and asked professional bodies, to request more transparency when they give suggestions for next year’s budget.

In 2011 several state institutions ran large losses o