Sri Lanka 1Q state revenues down 8.2-pct

June 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state revenues fell 8.2 percent to 144.9 billion rupees in the first quarter of 2009, while rising expenses have ballooned the gap in the current account of the budget to an unprecedented level. In the first two months of 2009 revenues fell 10.6 percent with tax revenues falling 12.7 percent.

In the first three months to March the total revenues fall has been contained at 8.2 percent from 158.0 billion rupees and tax revenues fall has reduced to 4.8 percent to 133.8 billion rupees, the latest official data showed.

But expenses are growing faster. Day to day current expenditure grew 36.0 percent to 235.9 billion rupees from 173.4 billion rupees in the first quarter of last year.

The current account or revenue deficit (the difference between revenues and day to day expenses) has ballooned to an unprecedented 91 billion rupees in the first quarter.

The revenue deficit for the entire 2008 was only 88.4 billion rupees.

Capital expenditure grew 4.3 percent to 62.9 billion rupees from 60.3 billion rupees expanding the overall deficit in the quarter to 153.9 billion rupees from 75.7 billion last year.

Sri Lanka’s revenues has been badly hit by a collapse in imports which a