Parliament passes Vote on Account

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The Vote on Account, for government expenditure for the first four months of the year 2019, was passed in Parliament with a majority of votes.

A total of 102 MPs voted in favour while 6 voted against it.

MPs representing the United National Front (UNF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voted in favour of the special provision while the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) voted against.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) abstained from voting.

Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera tabled the Vote on Account in Parliament this morning (21).

Addressing the House after it was tabled, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had stated that they had to resort to present a Vote on Account due to the recent political turmoil in the country.

Accordingly, out of Rs 1765 billion, which has been allocated for the first four months of the year 2019, Rs 970 billion has been allotted for debt servicing or interest and premium payment.

This amount is nearly 55 per cent of the total allocation.

Reportedly, monetary provisions have been assigned for ‘Gam Peraliya’, ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ and ‘One Project for One Village’ projects through this.

In addition, funds have been allotted for salaries in the public service, fertilizer subsidies, Samurdhi subsidies, distributing uniform cloths for students.

The Parliament session chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya commenced at 10.30 a.m. this morning.

The Vote on Account states the following:

In terms of paragraph (2) of Article 150 of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that during the period commencing on January 1, 2019 and ending on the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of the Appropriation Act providing for the services of the financial year 2019 or ending on April 30, 2019 which ever date occurs first

(a)    sums not exceeding Rupees Seven Hundred Ninety Billion One Hundred Sixty Million Six Hundred Thirty Four Thousand (Rs. 790,160,634,000) shall be payable out of the Consolidated Fund of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for the services specified in the First Schedule to this Resolution tabled, (being services in respect of which provision for expenditure was made by the Appropriation Act, No. 30 of 2017 and by Supplementary Estimates) and that the said sums may be expended during the aforesaid period, in the manner specified in such schedule; and

(b)    sums not exceeding Rupees Nine Hundred Seventy Billion Three Hundred Sixty Three Million One Hundred Ninety Two Thousand (Rs. 970,363,192,000) shall be payable out of the Consolidated Fund of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for the services specified in the Second Schedule to this Resolution tabled (for expenditure pertaining to providing for the services authorized by laws to be charged to the Consolidated Fund) and that the said sums may be expended during the aforesaid period, in the manner specified in such Schedule; and

(c)    sums not exceeding Rupees Five Billion (Rs. 5,000,000,000) in the aggregate, shall be payable by way of advances out of the Consolidated Fund of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for the services specified in Column I of the Third Schedule to this Resolution tabled and that the debits incurred in respect of any such services during the aforesaid period, shall not exceed the maximum limits as specified in the corresponding entry in Column II of that Schedule; and

(d)    sums not exceeding Rupees Nine Hundred Ninety Billion (Rs. 990,000,000,000) shall be proceeds as loans to be raised in terms of relevant laws whether in or outside Sri Lanka, for and on behalf of the Government, in respect of which provision for expenditure for providing such services mentioned in the schedules to this Resolution tabled and the details of such loans shall be incorporated in the Final Budget Position Report which is required to be tabled in Parliament under Section 13 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, No. 3 of 2003.