The Appropriation Bill for the year 2021 is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament during the second week of October 2020, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said today.

He said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Finance, had presented  to  Cabinet the policy framework  to be followed in preparation of the budget for the year 2021 prioritising several key areas  for which resources will be allocated  in keeping with the government's policy declaration 'Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour'.

In this context, in preparing 2021 Budget estimates prioritising capital expenditure, improving  efficiency and potential of government revenue collection, rationalising recurrent expenditure and maintaining a proper financial management and discipline should be strictly focused to reach the relevant economic targets, the Budget preparation guidelines state.

Meanwhile the Finance Ministry has sent the   Guidelines for the Preparation of Annual Budget Estimates within the Medium Term Budgetary Frame work 2021-2023 to all Secretaries to Ministries and State Ministries, Chief Secretaries of Provincial Councils, Heads of Departments and Chairmen of Corporations and Statutory Boards.

They have been instructed that the annual Budget Estimates for the Year 2021 should be prepared within the Medium Term Budgetary Framework 2021-2023, with the aim of providing immediate benefits to the public through achieving objectives of the Policy Statement of the new Government.

Priority will be given to projects which provide immediate relief to the Public such as empowerment of low income families, upliftment of the rural economy, fulfilling the housing needs of the public, educational reforms and achieving transformational progress in the skills development sector, development of infrastructure facilities, promotion of small and medium scale domestic producers and expansion of their products, upgrading rural road network.

The Finance Ministry said that even though the COVID 19 global pandemic was successfully controlled, effectively managing the unforeseen impact caused to the economy is of highest priority. “Prudent management of prevailing limited fiscal space and stringent control of government expenditure towards the recovery of the economy are being considered. In this context, in preparing 2021 Budget estimates prioritizing capital expenditure, improving the efficiency and potential of government revenue collection, rationalizing recurrent expenditure and maintaining a proper financial management and discipline should be strictly focused to reach the relevant economic targets,” the Ministry said.