Not the time to spend money on an election - Finance Ministry official | Daily News

Not the time to spend money on an election - Finance Ministry official

Money left only to pay government employee salaries, pensions and Samurdhi

A senior Finance Ministry official said that the country is facing the worst economic crisis in its history, and currently the government’s monthly revenue is ample only for government employee salaries, pensions and Samurdhi allowances. The official, pointing out that systematic   measures have been taken to solve the current financial crisis, said that successful results are expected by next March. He pointed out that it is not possible to allocate funds for an election in such a background or the program launched so far to revive the economy will be interrupted and the economy of the country would worsen.

The statement by the official is as follows: At present, the government’s monthly revenue is sufficient only to pay Rs. 93,000 million salaries of the government employees, pension of Rs. 26,500 million and Rs. 6,000 million Samurdhi allowance only.

Apart from this the government has had to borrow money to pay, Rs. 3,500 million for social welfare benefits, Rs. 3,000 million for medicine and health services, Rs. 2,000 million for military rations, Rs. 2,000 million for fertilizers, Rs.7,000 million for fuel, electricity, water and insurance, Rs. 3,000 million recurrent expenditure and settlement of loans. As the banks have reduced the overdrafts granted to the government, the only option is to get money from the central bank.

Accordingly, money required for an election should be obtained from the Central Bank and hence escalation of the inflation rate when money printed is unstoppable which will affect the people by increasing the existing burden.

However, it will take at least a one year period for the country to stabilize the economy. Presently the country’s economic problematic situation has been relieved to some extent. Due to the concessions given to agriculture and paddy cultivation and the government’s support, we have been able to get a surplus in the paddy harvest.

However if a huge amount of funds are spent on an election, another economic collapse is inevitable. If there is an economic recession in the country again, there is no background for the country to revive the economy again.

There is a possibility for the country to borrow money from banks after receiving the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme by March next year. Additionally, it will take a few more months for the government to amass benefits through the tax policies.


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