Sri Lanka forecasts 2006 budget deficit at 8.2 percent of GNP

Sri Lanka hopes to contain its 2006’s budget deficit at 8.2 percent of gross national product (GNP) while keeping total expenses within Rs. 1003 billion. Sri Lanka hopes to contain its 2006’s budget deficit at 8.2 percent of gross national product (GNP) while keeping total expenses within Rs. 1003 billion. Government spending is estimated at Rs. 1003 billion, with capital expenditure expected to make up Rs. 520 billion of the total bill.

The higher capital expenditure bill accounts for tsunami reconstruction.

Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva on Friday told journalists in Colombo that the government would break tradition and table its 2006 appropriation bill on October 4 in parliament.

The ceremonial budget speech delivered by the finance minister meanwhile has been scheduled for November 10.

Traditionally the budget is presented before the appropriation bill is issued.

De Silva said the cabinet of ministers this week approved the decision to table the appropriation bill ahead of the budget speech.

The minister also said the government was confident of “pushing through” the 2006 budget, wi