Government in dire financial straits – Basil tells Cabinet 

Reports say the Government will be cutting down expenses due to the economic crisis.

Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa has informed the Cabinet that the expected income of the Government has been derailed by the Covid -19 pandemic and as such, it is doubtful whether even this year’s recurrent expenses could be covered.

The estimated recurrent expenditure for 2021  was Rs. 10,269,400. However, the actual amount would be much more, with vaccination, improvements to the Health sector and related matters, the Minister further stated.

Stop recruitment, construction, projects 

The Ministry of Finance has instructed the Secretaries and the Ministries to halt any activities that have approved budgets but have not yet commenced work. These include: projects that have not commenced, purchases, construction of buildings or renovations.

They have also been instructed to also halt any recruitment, for which appointment letters have not been issued. 

It has also been decided to reevaluate the aid beneficiaries list and only give a monthly allowance to low income earners. 

Fuel allowance, bill reimbursement limited

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has also decided to limit allowances for fuel and bill reimbursements. A decision has been taken to reevaluate these.

The secretaries to the ministries have also been instructed to suggest a manner in which officials reporting to duty on a shift basis would be reimbursed the cost of travel for those specific days. 

A detailed report on how much could be saved by following these cost-cutting measures have been called for as well. 

Source: Lankadeepa

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