The Government has estimated an expenditure of Rs. 1,819 billion for next year, with the bulk of these expenses being set aside for the Defence and Finance Ministries, amidst allegations by the Joint Opposition that the education expenditure for next year has been cut by over 57%.
The Defence Ministry has been Allocated Rs. 283 billion, while the Finance Ministry has been allocated Rs. 242 billion.
Sirisena’s pet subject, health has been allocated Rs. 160 billion, while the Higher Education and the Highways Ministry has been allocated Rs. 162 billion. However the Education Ministry has only been allocated Rs. 76 billion
The Public Administration Ministry has been allocated Rs.164 billion, while the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry has been allocated Rs. 50 billion. The Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry has been allocated Rs.223 billion.
A total of Rs. 5 billion has been set aside for the President’s Office for the year 2017, amidst allegations from the National Freedom Front (NFF) that the presidential expenditure has gone up by 320%.
NFF’s spokesman Mohammed Muzammil has said that while the President’s expenditure has been increased by 320%, the funds allocated for education has been reduced by 57.6% in the Appropriation Bill.
“The facilities for the people have been reduced, and the facilities for the President has been increased,” Muzammil said. According to him, as per the Appropriation Bill, the Government has set aside Rs. 20 million a day as expenses for Sirisena.