Interim Budget in August

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An interim budget for the next few months will be tabled in Parliament in August, as the new Government’s first step toward resetting the governing system, Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said.

He said the budget had been revised at the Ministry level and that the figures were complete.

At the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday, he noted that the new budget will be tabled in Parliament in the coming months. 

In an interview with Reuters, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the interim budget will reduce infrastructure projects in order to redirect funds to a two-year relief programme for the crisis-hit island nation.

Wickremesinghe, who also warned that inflation would rise as the Government tackled the crisis and expressed hope that any unrest would be contained, adding that funds would be made available to assist the most vulnerable of the country’s 22 million residents.

The Interim Budget will provide over Rs 200 billion in incentives to low-income families and the Small and Medium Enterprise sector. The Census Department announced that the year-on-year GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2022 was estimated to be negative 1.6 per cent, indicating a significant contraction of the economy compared to the first quarter of 2021.

By Thameenah Razeek