[ Desperate to hold on to power huge amounts being allocated]
The Sri Lanka Government is to allocate funding for over 150 special development projects using the carry forward allocations of the earlier 2014 budget, top government sources said.
High level government authorities have issued a directive to immediately allocate Rs.450 million per head as development funds to selected parliamentarians. The sources, who declined to be named, said that the allocation (Rs. 450 million each) would also apply to MPs who cross over to government ranks.
While this emergency allocation is part of the 2014 budget’s unutilised money for around 80 expenditure proposals, the money allocated for these projects have been already utilised for other urgent work and may now have to come from a subsequent, supplementary vote in Parliament next year. Tax revenue has also fallen short of targets adding problems to the 2014 budget allocations.
The sources said that the authorities have been informed to be ‘flexible’ in deciding the special projects in which MPs will use these funds.
According to the Finance Ministry budget progress report, out of 112 proposals made in the (ongoing) 2014 budget, only 32 have been fully implemented so far. 80 proposals are yet to be implemented.
These 80 proposals (and funds allocated) will be carried forward for next year along with 77 new proposals made in the 2015 budget, a senior government official said, adding that under these circumstances allocating money for over 150 special development projects will not be an easy task.
In the 2014 budget a sum of Rs. 96,950 million had been allocated for 59 new projects and now a part of this money could be diverted to implement the proposed development projects that would be devised on the lines of the “Eka Gamakata Eka Vedak” one infrastructure development per village programme being implemented by the Economic Development Ministry.
Treasury officials are grappling with the preparations of 2015 budget circulars, gazette notifications, closing of cash books for the year 2014 and settlement of accounts in accordance with the operations circular as the budget estimates and financial allocations for 27 proposals had been amended during the budget debate in Parliament.