Treasury Secretary wants strict cost control measures for Budget 2024
Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena has given instructions to relevant officials to follow strict cost control measures when preparing proposals for the Government’s Budget proposals for 2024.
The Treasury Secretary has issued instructions to relevant officials through the National Budget Circular No. 04/2023, urging them to come up with proposals to make transformative changes through minimal input so that the country and the public can get the maximum results from the money spent.
The circular states that all government institutions should submit proposals to the Budget aiming sustainable and high economic growth and it is mandatory to ensure that the services of one institution are not repeated by another institution. In addition to this, in the case of ten ministries with highest allocations, a special method will be adopted when allocating money from the Budget. Ten committees have been appointed to review the expenditure.
The Treasury Secretary said that he will submit the expenditure proposals to the Cabinet based on the recommendations of the committee.The circular issued under the signature of the Treasury Secretary has been sent to all Ministers, Secretaries of Provinces, Heads of Departments and State Corporations, University Grants Commission and Chairpersons of Statutory Boards. The circular will further states that the Budget estimates for 2024 should be done in accordance with a zero-based budgeting process.
Pointing out that the receipt of government revenue has slowed down as expected in 2023, the Secretary has advised the officials to use the available resources to prevent corruption, avoid duplication, speed up automation and digitization and make public expenditure administration efficient.
He has also instructed to strictly control development expenses, financial capital expenses of institutions, maintenance and rehabilitation expenses, development subsidies and welfare expenses.
The Secretary also says that the expenditure proposals should be submitted in the order of priority for the maintenance of necessary public services and the payment of money due to the development projects carried out so far, the allocation of money needed to complete the work, and the next steps in the projects. The Secretary has also emphasized that the expenditure estimates which have been properly prepared should be submitted to the Treasury by August 23 with all the schedules.
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