ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is presenting a budget for 2021 amid challenges to take the country on path of industrialization, agriculture and services using new technology and moving away from imports, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
“Sri Lanka has natural resources and a geostrategic location,” Rajapaksa said earlier presenting a budget for 2021.
He said India and China were nearby and Sri Lanka can use Colombo and Hambantota ports and airports.
He said the budget would strengthen the Vista’s of Prosperity strategy of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka had had to strengthen the health service to win the Coronavirus battle and also boost education.
Rajapaksa said last week he wanted to bring down the budget deficit to 4 percent of gross domestic product by 2025 and the government debt to 75 percent over the next four years.
The administration is seeking authority to spend 2,687 billion rupees under the law.
In an Appropriation Bill already tabled in parliament, called the first reading of the budget, allocations of current expenses of 1,714 billion rupees and 963 billion in capital expenditure has been allocated to ministries.
Up to November 2020 around 450 billion rupees of central bank financing has been made, which include foreign reserve losses to pay debt.
The budget and its proposals will be debated from November 18 to 21, where a vote will be taken. The committee stage changes will be done between November 23 and December 10.