An in-depth look at what happened to the 2017 Budget

An in-depth look at what happened to the 2017 Budget

Written by Lahiru Fernando

08 Nov, 2017 | 10:44 pm

Sri Lankans will get an insight tomorrow (November 9) on how the year 2018 will be for them and the country.

The 72nd Budget of Sri Lanka will be presented to Parliament at 3 pm by it’s 21st Minister of Finance, Mangala Samaraweera.

2018 Budget is the Good Governance Government’s third budget, and the first for Min. Mangala Samaraweera after being appointed as the Finance Minister several months ago.

While the country braces for the budget of 2018, we at News 1st decided to take different perspective to things.

How did the Government fare with the current 2017 Budget.

Before we begin, it’s best we point out that the Government instructed all ministries to publish their task updates on the respective websites.

Have they? – not really. Just a few out of many. So we decided to take the assistance of Verité Research.

What did we find? – worrying readings on the first six months of 2017.

Breakdown

Details regarding 51% of the 2017 budget proposals are not available to the public.

This 51% amounts to Rs. 67 Billion.

The Sri Lankan public has access to details of only 49% of the budget proposals.

Then-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake made 37 key promises in the 2017 budget.

They valued up to a total of Rs. 116.91 Billion.

This represents 80% of the total value of new expenditure proposals.

What of the 49% which is available for the public?

  • 32% of it are behind schedule
  • 14% have not been carried out
  • 3% of the promises are on track or ahead of schedule

This 3% amounts to one project carried out by the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils to improve Roads in rural areas.

The allocation made for this task is Rs. 4.5 billion.

So how is the remaining Rs. 112.41 Billion been utilized?

Three words – We don’t know.

Progress Reports: Ministries are expected to hand over progress reports on their projects to the Finance Ministry.

We are lead to believe only 14 key Ministries had done so and even fewer had shared their policy statements, procurement details and other documents online.

Government score on 2017 Budget promises

Given that we can only go on the above details – it is a 3% success rate of only 80% total expenditure allocation.

Some Ministries have not revealed details of expenditure. So we cannot give marks for “work not handed in”.

It is also worth noting the Government has repeatedly requested additional supplementary budgets.

An extra 11.26 billion was approved just this week (First week of November).

Remember the scorecard we did on the Government promises?

We would like to reiterate the last line of that article again, on this one.

If the people of Sri Lanka were ‘Asian Parents’ and Government the ‘child’, the parents would be very disappointed!

Oh wait….

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