The minister made this statement in the context of justifying the upward revision of railway fares. To check this claim, FactCheck.lk consulted the approved Budget Estimates for 2022 and the Annual Report 2021, published by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
As per the Annual Report by MoF, the actual revenue earned by the Department of Sri Lanka Railways for the year 2021 was LKR 2.6 billion, which is in line with the minister’s numbers.
However, the report does not provide information related to the expenditure of the department. Therefore FactCheck.lk used the data presented to parliament along with the Budget in November 2021 to estimate expenditure. In those documents the revised estimates of expenditure for 2021 was LKR 7.8 billion for salaries and wages plus other allowances (excluding overtime payments).
The overall claim of the minister was to suggest that the revenue collected by the Department of Sri Lanka Railways was much less than even the wages of employees, without counting all the other cost of running the railways. The minister’s numbers are consistent with the data that is available, and they support his overall claim.
Therefore, we classify the minister’s statement as TRUE.
*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
Annual Report 2021, Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies Sri Lanka pg. 217 Available at; https://www.treasury.gov.lk/api/file/a7a35d1a-556f-49b2-81e0-20294eb5a519 [ Last accessed 01 September 2022]
Budget Estimates 2022, Volume II, Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies Sri Lanka pg. 127 Available at; https://www.treasury.gov.lk/api/file/8842770a-0ed6-4d20-ac75-4ef40f8295c7 [ Last accessed 01 September 2022]