Sri Lanka’s budget deficit around 6.8-pct in 2015: Finance Minister


Oct 20, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s budget deficit will be around 6.8 percent of GDP for this year, higher than the budgeted 4.4 percent, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

The IMF mission concluding its visit to Sri Lanka last month said it projects a budget deficit of 5.5 to 6 percent of GDP in 2015 financed mainly by domestic borrowing.

The mission strongly recommended keeping the 2016 budget deficit to 5.5 percent of GDP.

The first Budget of the new Government will be presented to the Parliament on 20 November 2015.

Karunanayake told a forum in Colombo that the government is to introduce a simple taxation system by removing various taxes and introducing few taxes.

“Government policies won’t change. But there’ll be clarity in the position of the government and we are also looking at fiscal consolidation.” he said.

Karunanayake said a corrective action will also be taken in the budget for the money going out of the country to purchase vehicles.

Finance Minister further stated that they are to develop E-commerce in Sri Lanka with an electronically unique system that uses a SIM card to pay through a bank account.

“There’ll be an unbelievable change for banking sector and the country will be turned into a mini financial hub,” he said.