Sri Lanka state worker cost climbs to new high

Mar 15, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka state workers took away 57 cents as salaries and wages out of every tax rupee paid by the people in 2009, as the government continued to expand a bloated public service amid an economic slump, the latest official data showed. Salaries and pensions of workers climbed to 353 billion rupees, or 56.9 percent of the 619.6 billion in taxes raised from the people, according to provisional finance ministry data.

Defence salaries were 88.8 billion rupees in 2009, up from 73.5 billion rupees a year earlier.

In 2008 the salary bill was 239 billion rupees and pensions 74.9 billion rupees giving total 313.9 billion rupees or 53.6 percent of taxes.

The finance ministry said the salary bill climbed 12 percent due to the increase of a costs of living alloance to 4,500 rupees from 3,500 and the impact of new recruitments to the military, police and other ‘all island services’. In 2008, 12,000 persons had retired and in 2009 21,000.

In 2009 Sri Lanka’s budget deficit has hit 10.3 percent of gross domestic product.

In 2010 Sri Lanka is planning a budget with 8.0 percent of GDP deficit to be presented to parliament after polls in April.