President orders to further curtail government expenditure | Daily News

President orders to further curtail government expenditure

January revenue far below expenditure:

In a note to the Cabinet, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies Minister stated that the Government revenue at present (January 2023) is far below the monthly expenditure for January 2023.  

As a result, the President noted that the General Treasury finds it challenging to meet all expenditures at this moment, except for payments for salaries, pensions, welfare, pharmaceuticals and debt servicing.  

Therefore, President Wickremesinghe pointed out that the Government expenditure will have to be curtailed or further postponed until planned revenue to be raised on the recent tax   revisions is realized. He noted that the General Treasury will formulate a priority criterion for this purpose.

 Until then, the release of imprest will be curtailed. 

Furthermore, the President pointed out that public officers should refrain from obtaining goods and services on credit basis, and any officer who violates this will be held personally responsible for such expenditure. Meanwhile Media,Transport and Highways Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena at the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday pointed out that the crisis of not being able to earn enough income for the government’s expenses was explained in the last Cabinet meeting.

However, the government’s tax income will increase by the coming months of March and April and the situation should be managed until then.

The minister said that the government should explain the economic situation of the country to the people and he further said that the government led by the president will explain it from time to time.

He mentioned that the secretaries of every ministry are bound to manage expenses and the total revenue received from the Inland Revenue Department is Rs.66,328 million,Sri Lanka Customs Rs.53,770 million, Excise Department Rs.7,576 million and other income generating agencies Rs.31,090 million. The total revenue for January alone is only Rs.158.07 billion.While 158.07 billion rupees have been received as total revenue, 367.08 billion rupees have been spent as government expenditure which includes Rs.87,423 million for Salary, Rs.29,594 for Pension and Samurdhi and Rs.10,881 for other expenses along with loan instalments, he said.

Pointing out that the country is under a very difficult fiscal situation, the minister said that the previous governments have faced this situation by taking loans both domestically and abroad and by printing money. But he pointed out that there is a situation where it is no longer possible to take foreign loans and the International Monetary Fund will no longer allow money to be printed. The minister pointed out that the country can disclose the income received at any time and that there is no political solution to this situation, and the government cannot keep paying salaries to any political party.

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