Controls imposed on public service expenditure

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Amid the worsening economic crisis in the country, the Secretary to the Finance Ministry issued a circular to control expenditure in the public service yesterday (26), making it available only for the most essential services for a certain period.

The circular called for a project expenditure control system and the reduction of fuel usage and communication expenses, and suspending public sector recruitment.

Thus, action would not be initiated for acquisition of lands or other assets for projects which were not granted special permission. Provision of any allowance, welfare programme, development assistance or subsidy that have not received Cabinet approval will be discontinued as well.

The circular said the economy has approached a critical juncture and with that, the requirement of providing an efficient and productive service for the public while using public finance in the most responsible and economical manner has become a foremost priority than ever before.

“Therefore, the restrictions already introduced by several circulars such as controlling the payment of fuel and communication allowances, restriction of water and electricity expenditure, suspending the construction and leasing of buildings, stopping foreign study tours and training conducted using local funds, suspending the payment of various allowances made at ministry or institutional level without Cabinet approval and avoiding any new commitments for various welfare/subsidy programmes and development programmes, should be strictly followed by all government institutions.”

By Methmalie Dissanayake