ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government revenues were 158.7 billion rupees in January 2023 but expenditure and debt service remained high, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.
In January 2022 total revenues were Rs104.5 billion according to central bank data.
It is not clear how much of the preliminary data is made up of tax revenues and how much non-tax. There has been mention of a 145 billion rupee number earlier.
Sri Lanka’s tax revenues have risen sharply amid an inflationary blow off which had boosted nominal GDP while President Ranil Wickremesinghe has also raised taxes.
Departing from a previous strategy advocated by the IMF expanding the state and not cutting expenses, called revenue based fiscal consolidation, he is attempting to do classical fiscal consolidation with spending restraint.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented a note to cabinet requesting state expenditure to be controlled, Gunawardana told reporters.
State Salaries cost 87.4 billion rupees.
Pensions and income supplements (Samurdhi program) were29.5 billion rupees.
Other expenses were 10.8 billion rupees.
Capital spending was 21 billion rupees.
Debt service was 377.6 billion rupees for January which has to be done with borrowings from Treasury bills, bonds and a central bank provisional advance of 100 billion rupees, Gunawardana said.
Interest costs were not separately given. (Colombo/Feb05/2023)