Government allocates Rs. 2, 057 billion for debt servicing in 2019

The Government has allocated Rs. 2, 057 billion for debt servicing in 2019, the Ministry of Finance said today.

This is the largest amount of money a Government in the history of this country is compelled to bear in repaying its borrowings, the Ministry said

Out of this amount, Rs.1, 271 should be paid locally next year while Rs.786 billion, which is equal to 4,650 million US dollars should be paid to foreign lenders.

Accordingly, the Government expects to borrow Rs.1, 944 billion from local and foreign sources for its debt servicing including the financing of the budget deficit in 2019, the Finance Ministry said.

The Finance Ministry also said that the Ministry of Defence is to get Rs.306 billion in the 2019 budget.

The Finance Ministry said that the allocation for the Ministry of Defence is the highest amount of allocations under the Appropriation Bill, which is to be presented to Parliament by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on October 09.

The Finance Ministry also said that capital expenditure of several ministries including, Education, Health, Provincial Council and Local Government, Finance, Fisheries, Agriculture and Megapolis and Western Development have been increased.

As per the Appropriation Bill, which was presented to the Cabinet recently by Finance and Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, next year’s annual state expenditure will be Rs 4,376 billion and the budget deficit will be Rs.644 billion which is 4.1% of the GDP.

The Government revenue in the year 2014 was 11.5% of the GDP and, it has gradually increased after the unity government came in to power and, it is expected to increase to 15.1% of the GDP in 2019.

At the same time, a surplus was reported for the time after 63 years in the Government’s Primary Balance in 2017 and, it is expected that this surplus will increase by 1.3% of the GDP in 2019. (Colombo Gazette)

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