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Government to introduce public sector transformational reforms

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Sri Lanka is to introduce transformational reforms and improve governance to come out of the current crisis, as the island suffers the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

An important reform was for Sri Lanka to improve governance to make sure that the “system works there is a level playing field and there are fewer opportunities for a mis-use of the system or even corruption,” Timmer said.

“The first priority is to set up a very efficient social safety net and put in place some measures so that a large part of population can become more productive and have access to markets and to finance,” Timmer said.

Before new funding came the Sri Lanka had to do the required reforms, improve governance and also make progress on debt sustainability alongside the IMF program.

The Government is to appoint a Presidential Commission to achieve reforms in the public sector.

The move was announced by President and Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his presentation of the 2023 Budget yesterday in Parliament.

The President revealed that there are 1.45 million public servants currently working in the various Government agencies, hence, a large portion of the Government revenue has to be spent on their salaries and wages. It has become a challenge to allocate resources for other public purposes, including developmental purposes.

Wickremesinghe said the proposed Presidential Commission will review all the aspects of public service in line with current requirements and make recommendations including necessary reforms.

In 2023 Budget Salaries and wages account for Rs. 1 trillion apart from Rs. 375 billion for pensions.

“At the same time, it will be possible to implement the proposed reforms to make the public sector to optimum level. Hence, I believe that considerable relief can be given to the public servants and pensioners at the latter part of the year 2023,” the President assured.

However he revealed that at present the State is bearing the cost of 420 Government institutions and enterprises. The annual loss of these major 52 SOEs is Rs. 966 billion in the first half of 2022.

“I hope to table these lists of institutions in Parliament in two or three days. Has the country benefited from these institutions for many years? Or has the country suffered,” the President queried during his Budget speech.

He also proposed to stop those SOEs paying PAYE/APIT tax liability of its employees from 1 January 2023.

Another proposal is the daily transfer of all revenue and receipt collections by Ministries and Departments, directly to the General Treasury with effect from January 2023 to reduce the substantial cost of finance due to delay in remitting revenue collection to the Consolidated Fund.

The President referred to the Interim Budget introducing several proposals, including the introduction of new Public Financial Management (PFM) Act incorporating binding fiscal rules and appointment of an Inspector General to keep the expenditures in check, which will be implemented in the near future. In addition, a number of circular instructions have already been issued to ensure strict control of Government expenditure.

Sri Lanka is to introduce transformational reforms and improve governance to come out of the current crisis, as the island suffers the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

An important reform was for Sri Lanka to improve governance to make sure that the “system works there is a level playing field and there are fewer opportunities for a mis-use of the system or even corruption,” Timmer said.

“The first priority is to set up a very efficient social safety net and put in place some measures so that a large part of population can become more productive and have access to markets and to finance,” Timmer said.

Before new funding came the Sri Lanka had to do the required reforms, improve governance and also make progress on debt sustainability alongside the IMF program.

The Government is to appoint a Presidential Commission to achieve reforms in the public sector.

The move was announced by President and Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his presentation of the 2023 Budget yesterday in Parliament.

The President revealed that there are 1.45 million public servants currently working in the various Government agencies, hence, a large portion of the Government revenue has to be spent on their salaries and wages. It has become a challenge to allocate resources for other public purposes, including developmental purposes.

Wickremesinghe said the proposed Presidential Commission will review all the aspects of public service in line with current requirements and make recommendations including necessary reforms.

In 2023 Budget Salaries and wages account for Rs. 1 trillion apart from Rs. 375 billion for pensions.

“At the same time, it will be possible to implement the proposed reforms to make the public sector to optimum level. Hence, I believe that considerable relief can be given to the public servants and pensioners at the latter part of the year 2023,” the President assured.

However he revealed that at present the State is bearing the cost of 420 Government institutions and enterprises. The annual loss of these major 52 SOEs is Rs. 966 billion in the first half of 2022.

“I hope to table these lists of institutions in Parliament in two or three days. Has the country benefited from these institutions for many years? Or has the country suffered,” the President queried during his Budget speech.

He also proposed to stop those SOEs paying PAYE/APIT tax liability of its employees from 1 January 2023.

Another proposal is the daily transfer of all revenue and receipt collections by Ministries and Departments, directly to the General Treasury with effect from January 2023 to reduce the substantial cost of finance due to delay in remitting revenue collection to the Consolidated Fund.

The President referred to the Interim Budget introducing several proposals, including the introduction of new Public Financial Management (PFM) Act incorporating binding fiscal rules and appointment of an Inspector General to keep the expenditures in check, which will be implemented in the near future. In addition, a number of circular instructions have already been issued to ensure strict control of Government expenditure.

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