Second Reading of the Budget Proposal 2024 passed in Parliament by a majority of 45 votes

Tuesday, 21 November 2023 - 18:22

Sri Lanka's Parliament passed the Second Reading of the 2024 Appropriation Bill with a majority of 45 votes with 122 votes cast in favour, while 77 votes opposed it. 

The 2024 Budget speech was delivered in Parliament by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance Minister on November 13.

The Second Reading of the 2024 Budget, which began the day after its presentation, entered its seventh day today. The Committee Stage or the Third Reading debate is set to commence tomorrow (November 22) and will run for 19 days until December 13, excluding Sundays. The final vote on the Third Reading is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on December 13, 2023.

President Wickremesinghe emphasized the transformative nature of the 2024 Budget, positioning it as a pivotal step towards shaping the country’s future and establishing a modern economic framework aligned with global trends. He called for cooperation from all political parties, transcending partisan boundaries to collectively forge a new path for the nation.

The 2024 Budget, themed "A Prelude to a Bright Future," projects ambitious revenue and budget deficit targets. The budget deficit for the fiscal year 2024 is estimated at Rs. 2,851 billion, or 9.1% of the GDP. The total projected revenue will be Rs. 4,107 billion, including tax revenue of Rs. 3,820 billion. The total expenditure for next year is set at a record Rs. 6,978 billion, reflecting a nearly 33% increase compared to 2023. Notably, Rs. 450 billion is reserved for bank recapitalization.

The breakdown of expenditures includes Rs. 5,277 billion for recurring expenses such as subsidies and salary payments. For salaries and wages, Rs. 1,127 billion has been earmarked, and Rs. 1,158 billion for subsidies and transfers. The government envisions the 2024 Budget as a driving force for the country's economic revitalization and progress.

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