The second reading of the Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 2023 was passed in the parliament today (Nov. 22), by a majority of 37 votes.
Announcing the results of the division at the end of the debate on the second reading this evening, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said 121 parliamentarians in total have voted in favour of the budget while 84 voted against it.
Meanwhile, MP C.V. Wigneswaran abstained from voting. Among those who were absent were 10 TNA MPs, Minister Bandula Gunawardene. SJB MP Rajitha Senaratne who was expected to vote in favour of the budget voted against it.
During the division, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) endorsed the Appropriation Bill. However, the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), National People’s Power (NPP) and the MPs representing ‘Supreme Lanka Coalition’ said no to the latest budget proposals.
On November 14, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, presented the 2023 Budget to parliament on November 14, aimed at creating long-term stable economic growth.
Subsequently, the debate on the second reading of the Appropriation Bill commenced on the following day and continued for seven days.
According to the 2023 budget, 77th budget of the independent Sri Lanka, the total expenditure for 2023 will be Rs. 5,819 billion (19.2%) and the total revenue and grants will be Rs. 3,415 billion (11.3%).
Meanwhile, the budget deficit for the fiscal year 2023 is estimated at Rs. 2,404 billion, which is 7.9 as a percentage.
Through this budget, the government has allocated Rs. 4,609 billion for recurring expenditure such as subsidies and salary payments. For salaries and wages, Rs. 1,002 billion has been set aside, and Rs. 1,114 billion for subsidies and transfers.
The debate on the committee stage or the third reading of the Appropriation Bill will kick off tomorrow (Nov 23) and the vote is scheduled to be held on December 08.