Sri Lanka tax collections up but revenue deficit wide in 1Q

June 01, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s first quarter 2011 state revenues rose 19.5 percent from a year earlier to 218.4 billion rupees ahead of annual projections of 17.8 percent with people paying 24.3 percent more taxes , but the revenue deficit was wide. Current expenses pulled ahead at a 9.9 percent for the first quarter, faster than the annual projection of 8.5 percent leaving a current account deficit of 53.6 billion rupees, which is higher than the full year target, data released by the Central Bank shows.

The current account deficit is the gap between total revenues and day to day expenditure, indicating that the state is not leaving any taxes collected from the people for capital expenditure and investments are financed fully by debt.

Sri Lanka has run a deficit in the current account since 1987.

But the revenue gap was also large 2010. The first quarter revenue deficit is nominally smaller than the 64.8 billion rupees suffered in the same period last year.

In the first quarter the state was seen to have printed about 19 billion rupees to fund the budget gap through so-called inflationary ‘provisional advances’ from the central bank, due to a loophole in the country’s monetary law. Last year Sri Lanka reported a revenue deficit o