Making Sri Lanka the ‘Wonder of Asia’ by 2016 :
Budget 2012 ‘Development–oriented’
Views of public and all stakeholders incorporated :
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance and Planning
Minister will present Budget 2012 in Parliament tomorrow. The budget
would be development-oriented with the
aim of making Sri Lanka the
“Wonder of Asia” by 2016, according to Government sources. This will be
the 65th Budget to be presented since Independece. Budget 2012 will be
the third Budget of the seventh Parliament. The Budget Estimates for
2012 will maintain the budget deficit at 6.2 percent of the GDP to
ensure economic growth at 8 percent and the rate of annual inflation at
6 to 7 percent, Government sources told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
The total estimated expenditure for 2012 will be Rs. 2,220 billion,
with an increase in Recurrent Expenditure from Rs. 1,029 billion in 2011
to Rs. 1,109 billion in 2012 and Capital Expenditure from Rs. 938
billion to Rs. 1,111 billion.
The total revenue will be Rs. 1,115 billion. Public Investment has
increased from Rs. 453 billion in 2011 to Rs. 541 billion in 2012 to
maintain the momentum in the growth rate of 8 percent.
According to the sources, the Government has laid emphasis on every
sector in the Budget as it is development-oriented. Since Budget 2012 is
aimed at economic development billions of rupees would be allocated for
investment. Finance and Planning Ministry sources said the 2012 Budget
has a series of proposals to help uplift the socio-economic conditions
of the people and the development of the country as a whole.
The Budget will also introduce many fresh proposals and relief
measures which would help increase the income level of people in the
Referring the salary increase for workers, the sources said that the
President has granted 60-70 percent salary increases for public sector
employees since 2005.
The Government had also taken steps to increase the number of public
sector employees in the country to 1.2 million during this period.
According to the 2012 Appropriation Bill presented in Parliament by
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on October 18, the Government has
allocated the highest amount, nearly Rs. 230 billion to the Defence and
Urban Development Ministry.
The Appropriation Bill allocated Rs. 104 billion for the Economic
Development Ministry, Rs. 124 billion for the Finance and Planning
Ministry, over Rs. 144 billion for the Ports and Highways Ministry.
The allocations for the health and education sectors have been
increased in the Bill. Over Rs. 73 billion has been allocated for the
Health Ministry and Rs. 33 billion for the Education Ministry.
The sources said in preparing the Appropriation Bill, President
Rajapaksa and Treasury officials had consulted each line Ministry and
other stakeholders, mainly to formulate a realistic budget to divert
resources for priority areas identified in the Mahinda Chinthana and
phased out in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework 2012 - 2014.
Priority has been given to complete ongoing development projects.
The debate on the Second Reading of the Budget will continue for
seven days from November 22-30.
The Vote on the Second Reading will be on November 30 at 5.00pm.
The Committee stage debate will continue for 17 days from December
21. The Vote on the Third Reading is scheduled for December 21 at