The budget for 2010 is running into a crisis as its preparation has been delayed as parliamentary elections will be held on April 8 and the sittings begin on April 22.
A senior Finance Ministry official said yesterday that the budget department had to wait till the appointment of ministers to make preparations as the financial allocations would be made in accordance with the structure of the ministries.
A Vote on Account was submitted in place of an Appropriation Bill for expenditure for four months beginning from January 1 this year in view of the parliamentary elections.
The official said the presentation of the 2010 budget would be delayed but there was no need to seek parliamentary approval for spending in the interim period as the President had the power to extend the period of Vote on Account for one or two months in accordance with Articles 150 and 151 of the Constitution.
However he said the Finance Ministry had to find some way to meet the expenditure as the money allocated from the Vote on Account amounting to Rs. 362 billion was sufficient to meet government expenses only up to April.
“This money is almost over,” he said.
The official said the country would find it difficult to meet the 2010 budget deficit target of 6 percent of the gross domestic product. One third of the funds already approved by Parliament as supplementary estimates during the current financial year had been included on the Vote on Account.