Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa will present the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2021 (Budget 2021) in Parliament today.
Following the publication of the 2021 Appropriation Bill in the Gazette on October 6, it was presented to Parliament by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 20, 2020 for the First Reading. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake stated that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance is due to present the Second Reading of the 2021 Appropriation Bill (Budget Speech) in Parliament at 1.40 pm today.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister will make the budget speech and it is considered as the 75th Budget report of the country. The Appropriation Bill is presented to allocate Rs. 2,678 billion for the service expenditure and according to the Bill, limit on borrowings for the financial year 2021 has been set at Rs. 2,900 billion.
The Second Reading debate of the Budget will be held from the 18th to the 21st of this month following the presentation of the Budget Speech by the Prime Minister. The vote on the Second Reading will take place on November 21 at 5.00 pm. Parliament sittings will be held from the 18th to the 20th from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. The debate of the Committee Stage will commence on the 23rd November and is scheduled to conclude on 10th of December. Accordingly, the Vote will be held at 5.00 p.m. on the 10th December. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake stated that arrangements have been made to hold sittings of Parliament in accordance with all health guidelines and regulations during the entire period of the Budget Debate from tomorrow (17).
Only Ambassadors and officials authorized by the Ministry of Finance are invited tomorrow, and seats reserved in the Speaker’s Gallery during the Budget presentation will be subjected to health and safety regulations. The Public Gallery and the Media Gallery will remain closed. Following the budget speech, the traditional tea party hosted by the Minister of Finance will be held this year but will be limited to Members of Parliament, Ministers, Ambassadors and invitees.
Due to the prevailing COVID 19 situation, MPs will not be able to bring guests to Parliament during the Budget Debate.