Sri Lanka govt pays Rs84bn in overdue payments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance said the Treasury had paid 84.5 billion rupees in overdue payments for projects and procurements done by government ministries.

A statement said the payment amounted to 85 percent of overdue payments totalling 99.4 billion rupees due at 31 December 2018.

Treasury Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga said there are some shortcomings in the balance and action will be taken to pay it off once the shortcoming are cleared.

The delay in paying was partly because of uncertainty triggered by the October 2018 sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by President Maithripala Sirisena, a decision overturned by the Supreme Court in December.    

The crisis also led to the government 2019 budget being delayed, which also contributed to delayed payments.

The Treasury has been continuously making payments for vouchers presented by contractors within the first 3 – 4 months of the following year since 2015. 

The statement said Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had asked the Public Finance Department of the Treasury to digitalize the government procurement system.

“The treasury will be able to make all future due payments for government procurements soon after such particular projects are completed.”
(COLOMBO, April 26, 2019-SB)

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