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Sri Lanka state workers, military given Rs107bn in April salaries

In April, Sri Lanka's Treasury released 107 billion rupees to state workers for their salaries, which includes an increment, as announced by State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. The usual monthly salary bill amounts to around 93 billion rupees, but due to a 10,000 rupee allowance increase, it has escalated by approximately 13 billion rupees. Traditionally, salaries are released starting from the 16th and 17th of the month, with teachers, followed by the military, and then provincial councils. However, for April, payments were expedited before the New Year, ensuring that funds were released to all state institutions, with the expectation that employees would receive their salaries by the following day.

Analysis by Colombo-based Verité  Research indicates that a significant portion of the salary expenditure goes towards the military and public security ministry, comprising 32% and 16% respectively. Health and education sectors receive smaller allocations, with 17% and 9% of the total salary bill respectively. This increase in salary expenses reflects a broader trend where around 35% of Sri Lanka's government revenue is allocated to public servant salaries. President Ranil Wickremesinghe's budget speech for 2024 had outlined an increment in the Cost of Living Allowance by 10,000 rupees, from 7,800 to 17,800 rupees, effective January 2024. However, implementation of this increase began in April due to the typical timing of government revenue receipts by the General Treasury in February and March. The government plans to release the accumulated balance from January to March in installments over a six-month period, starting from October.

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