Nation building budget for 2018 - Eran

State Finance Minister Eran Wickremaratne said that the budget for the fiscal year 2018 will focus more on building the future.

It will also focus on building the country’s skills base and educating every child, strengthening small and medium industries and bringing them into the global export chain, Wickremaratne told the Daily News.

He said that although there will be benefits that are more immediate and beneficial to the public, but that alone will not be the focus of the budget.

“A budget traditionally has been about giving the fish but this budget will be more about giving the rod. This budget which is about to be presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday, is basically not a set of promises but will be a set of proposals which he will implement. His budget speech will set out a policy frame work,” the Minister said.

According to a recent research conducted by Verite Research, only 3 percent of the budget proposals of the previous budget were on track, whereas information was not obtained for over 51 percent of the promises.

Speaking on the issue of implementing and tracking of the budget proposals, Wickremaratne said sticking to the promise that they gave when assuming office, the Parliamentary Office of the Budget will be fully functional by the end of 2018.

“This will be an independent body from the finance ministry which then also becomes a way of monitoring. Then the legislature will not only approve the budget but it will also monitor the budget. That’s a step forward. Then on the executive side we have to obviously tighten our information system and also implementation of the project management side,” he said.

He further reiterated that this it is very much more forward looking and to build the future as oppose to just short term relief. According to the Minister this budget in contrast to the budgets of the past will be about building this country’s future and laying the foundation for building a strong economy. The factors that fuelled past budgets had been more short term which is not good for the country or the economy. 

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