Sri Lanka drought costs will not de-rail budget deficit: Ravi

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s drought is expected to expand spending by around 40 billion rupees but the year-end budget deficit target of 4.6 percent of gross domestic product with tight spending discipline, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

"We will have tight discipline on spending," Karunanayake said. "We did this last year and we will do it this year."

The government has announced compensation of 10,000 rupees per acre of damaged rice paddies.

But this year only about a third of the rice area was cultivated, bringing savings in fertilizer subsidies.

He said revenues were also strong.

He said fears expressed by Moody’s a rating agency that the deficit will go up to 5.2 percent of GDP was groundless. (Colombo/Mar03/2017)

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