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Appropriation Bill for 2022 approved by Committee on Public Finance

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The Appropriation Bill for the year 2022 was approved by the Committee on Public Finance which met in Parliament recently.

The Appropriation Bill for Budget 2022 has been presented to Parliament as a supplement to the Gazette Notification dated 29.09.2021 and it is customary to present it to Parliament as the first reading of the Budget.

According to the estimated expenditure contained in the Appropriation Bill, which was tabled in Parliament, the total expenditure was Rs. 5,134 billion, of which the expenditure on public debt repayment was Rs. 1,521 billion. Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S.R. Attygalle, explained to the Members of the Committee on Recurrent Expenditure in the Bill that it mainly consists of Rs. 980.2 billion for the payment of salaries of public servants.

He further stated that Rs.1,001 billion for payment of Government loan interest, Rs.310 billion for pensions and welfare payments of disabled war heroes, Rs. 68 billion for medical supplies, Rs. 50 billion for Samurdhi subsidy and Rs. 35 billion for fertilizer and Rs. 69 for other subsidies have been allocated.

The Secretary to the Treasury emphasized that this year too, subsidies have been allocated for Government projects aimed at developing education, health and human capital without any change.

As some point out, recurrent expenditure appears to be higher in the Ministry of Defence or in the Ministry of Finance due to the payment of salaries by the Ministry of Defence as well as the payment of loans by the Ministry of Finance, he said.

State Minister Nalaka Godahewa told the Secretary to the Treasury that the Ministry of Finance should also intervene to create an easier environment for private investors to work with state ministries by restricting funding for projects carried out by state ministries. It was commended by all the Members of the Opposition in the Committee and it was emphasized that every saving is important in such a situation.

MP Dr. Harsha de Silva pointed out that the recent removal of control prices imposed by the government on essential consumer goods such as milk powder, sugar and rice is a very good move.

MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara, said that he did not see any fault in a Government doing so in a neo-liberal sense, adding that the 2022 budget would soon lead the Government to take appropriate steps for a stable economy.

State Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Nalaka Godahewa and Members of Parliament Dr. Harsha de Silva, Prof. Ranjith Bandara, Isuru Dodangoda, Anupa Pasqual participated in the Committee on Public Finance.

Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S.R. Attygalle, Senior Finance Ministry officlas including Dr. Kapila Senanayake were also present.

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