Internal revenue increased during the first five months this year by 21 percent in comparison to the corresponding period last year, Economic Affairs and Policy Planning Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said yesterday.
He made this observation in Parliament in response to a special statement made by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva under Standing Order 23(2).
The deputy minister said internal revenue during the first five months of this year is Rs 492 billion while the revenue was Rs. 406 billion during the corresponding period last year. He said this constituted 32 percent of the expected revenue for the five months of this year while last year it was 28 percent.
Dr. de Silva said the recurrent expenditure has increased by 12.5 percent during the same period due to the increase of salaries to government servants, pensions and other allowances. The deputy minster said the recurrent expenditure during the first five months this year is Rs 623 billion while it was Rs 554 billion last year. Dr. de Silva said Rs. 3,000 million has been allocated for senior citizens’ allowance. He added that the same allowance was increased to Rs. 2,000 from Rs. 1,000 by this government.
The deputy minister added that the number of recipients of this allowance increased to 386,080 from 248,842. He said another Rs. 5,600 million is to be allocated as Rs. 3,000 million is not adequate to pay this allowance.
The deputy minister said the government has spent Rs. 32.9 million to pay interest and fines of the persons who pawned jewellery up to Rs. 200,000. He added 14,988 persons have obtained this facility.
Dr. de Silva said the reality is that the others do not come to obtain that facility as they have taken Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for one pound.