Sri Lanka nearing 2019 with no budget, vote on account: economist

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is nearing the end of 2018 with no budget presented at Parliament for next year which has since been dissolved, raising questions about public finances an economist has warned.

"This raises a serious issue about public finances, a prerogative of Parliament now dissolved," W A Wijewardene an economist who was a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank said in a message.

"Spending for 2019 not approved; what happens if Vote On Account is rejected by Parliament which may be reconvened only for that purpose?"

Under Article 150 (3) of Sri Lanka’ constitution the President can authorise funds from the consolidated funds for expenses including for elections, up to three months if he dissolves parliament before a budget is presented.

However the constitution is not less clear whether new debt can be issued to raise funds.

Sri Lanka was planning to go for extra debt to make it easier to repay maturing debt in the coming months under a new debt management law.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament last night and has ordered fresh elections on December 05, in a controversial move which may end up in court.

The notice said a new Parliament was expected to sit on January 17.

(Colombo/Nov10/2018 – Update II)





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