COLOMBO (NewsRadio); The debate on the third reading of the 2023 Budget or the committee stage debate is scheduled to begin in Parliament today.
Parliament is scheduled to convene at 9.30am.
Members of Parliament will debate on the allocations made for the President, the Office of the Prime Ministers, Judges of the Supreme Court, Independent Commissions and Parliament today.
The debate is scheduled to take place for nine and a half hours between 9.30am and 7pm.
The committee stage debate will continue for 13 days until the 8th of December.
The final vote on the 2023 Budget is scheduled to take place at 5pm on the 8th of December.
Meanwhile, the second reading of the 2023 Budget was passed with a majority of 37 votes in Parliament yesterday (22).
121 Members of Parliament voted in favour of the Budget while 84 MPs voted against it.
NewsRadio lobby correspondent said a majority of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna MPs, and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party MPs and MPs who represent the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Ceylon Workers’ Congress, EPDP, United National Party and National Alliance voted in favour of the Budget.
It includes SLFP MPs Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Amaraweera and Duminda Dissanayake, General Secretary of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress Jeevan Thondaman, EPDP MPs, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MPs Harin Fernando, Manusha Nanayakkara and Diana Gamage, MPs of the United National Party, National Alliance, Muslim National Alliance and Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal.
Meanwhile, a majority of the SJB MPs including Rajitha Senaratne, Kumar Welgama and Rishad Bathiudeen, SLFP MPs Maithripala Sirisena and Dayasiri Jayasekara, National People’s Power MPs and SLPP MPs who defected from the government recently voted against the 2023 Budget.
Leader of the Tamil People’s National Alliance MP CV Vigneswaran abstained from voting.
The Tamil National Alliance MPs were not present when the division was called in Parliament last evening.
The division on the second reading of the 2023 Budget was called by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella after Members of Parliament debated the 2023 Appropriation Bill for seven days in Parliament.
The second reading of the 2023 Appropriation Bill or the Budget speech was delivered in Parliament by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of Finance on the 14th of November.
This was also the maiden annual budget speech of President Wickremesinghe.
According to the 2023 Budget estimates, the total revenue and grants is expected to be Rs. 3,415 billion.
The total expenditure is estimated to be Rs. 5, 819 billion.
Accordingly, the government is aiming to reduce the budget deficit to 7.9 percent next year from an estimated 9.8 percent this year.