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Nov 09, 2017

Mangala’s Budget, not a budget!

Minister of Finance - Mangala Samaraweera presented the Budget 2018 today (09).

However, experts note that the speech was more of a policy statement targetting the year 2025 rather than a budget speech as it included many future targets.

The theme of this year’s budget was declared as ‘Blue Green Enterprise of Sri Lanka’.

The following are several proposals made.

Health

Rs. 25 m allocated to develop mental health services

Health

Rs. 100 m allocated for research on recognizing HIV/AIDS in the early stages.

Rs. 375m to develop institutions such as the blood hospital. Rs. 150b  allocated to develop the Matara Hospital.

Fertility center will be established at the Castle Hospital.

Soft drinks will have a tax of 50 cents from tonight (09).

Rs. 200m already allocated for the health sector. Three kidney centers will be established in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Jaffna.

Sports

Diyagama Sports Complex and the surrounding area will be renovated to host the 2020 South Asian Games. Sports academy will also be set up in Diyagama - 1500m allocated for the project.FA12 Brooks Day 1 03878 lowres

Import tax on sports shoes removed.

Sugathadasa Stadium will be redeveloped and Rs. 100m already allocated for this. Rs. 1,100m has also been allocated to develop the stadium and tracks of the ground.

100 grounds in rural areas will be established. Rs. 100m allocated. Hockey turf in Matale will be redeveloped.

Education

publications 6Introduction of an insurance system to university students similar to that of school students.

Aurvedic medicine center which will provide PHD's will be established.

IT faculties will also be established in 07 universities. A faculty for marine educationto be established at the Ruhuna Universit. Rs. 250 m allocated for this.

Rs. 1,250 m will be allocated to establish medical faculties at Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa and Moratuwa universities.

Payment of Rs. 3,500 to students in national colleges will be increased to Rs. 5,000.

A center at the Maharagama teacher training center to be established to train english language teachers.

Govt. to ensure A/L students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of subjects.  Rs. 1,200 m allocated for teacher training programmes.

Number of students in the medical, engineering, etc. to be increased. Rs. 3,500 million allocated.

Rs. 325 b allocated for the youth of the country. Student insurance and tablets for students is a promise that we are fulfilling now.

Five technical colleges to be established in five locations.

Rs. 2,000m will be allocated for youth corps programmes.

Need to establish universities on par with international levels, giving courses that target the existing markets. We propose to establish programmes which will prepare students as needed by local markets which are 3-6 months long and I will allocate Rs. 2,500 m.

Regardless of education background, to encourage the youth to give equal opportunities  based on their skills.Students who were unable to get into local universities and are unable to afford foreign education are to thought of.

Tourism

Meters will be made compulsory for trishaws through the Three- wheeler regulatory authority which will be established soon.Tuarism

A programme to introduce Tourist Board approved tuk tuks will be established and the drivers will be trained as local guides. Classes will be held free of charge.

VAT refund scheme for foreign passport holders will be implemented in airports.

Street festivals and exhibitions promoting Sri Lanka will be held in London, Los Angeles and Dubai in collaboration with the private sector.

Import tax on off road electric vehicles will be reduced.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to establish 25 life guard stations.

Railway stations such as Colombo and Nanu Oya will be declared as archaeological sites and upgraded. Domestic airports will be developed under PPP.

Rs. 250 m allocated to develop 06 ports including Matara and Hambantota.

The liquor licensing structure will be revamped.

Online tourism industry : Both resident and non-resident will impose a tax of 1 percent for 1 percent of OTA in Sri Lanka.

The tourism industry is set to develop. Mechanism such as the homestay programme is encouraged. the government will provide credit facilities for people who want to upgrade their homes for this.

Agriculture / poultry / Industries

ooty tea estate tour 2475Rs. 25m allocated to establish a center for timber research center.

Nation Building Tax (NBT) on gems that were cut and polished would be removed.

Rs. 125 million allocated to establish a poultry research center at the Wayamba University.

Underutilised state lands will be provided for the local poultry industry.

New regulations for coconut and coconut industries to be introduced. Rs. 25 m allocated for the coconut research institute.

Rs. 250 m allocated for the tea industry.

New laws to be introduced to ensure international standards are met in spice market, especially in the cinnamon and pepper industries. Rs. 50 m allocated.

 

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IT / trade

Testing facilities at the Standard Institute will be upgraded to international level. Rs. 250 m allocated for this.IT

We will allocate Rs. Rs. 800 m for the export market support programme.

Government's policy of entering into FTA's and removal of para tariffs should not be viewed as a threat to local industries. We will remove Para-tariff in line with WTO commitment.

Our complex labour laws and bureaucracy has been prevented from entering local market. competitions breeds success.

Colombo, Moratuwa universities and SLIIT will conduct courses on robotics, etc. The cost of these will be shared between the industry and the initiators.

IT sector has possibility of exceeding export earning of Rs. 5b. Will invest Rs. Rs. 3 b in the next few years for local start ups and to bring in foreign start ups.

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Entrepreneurship

Money 670px 09 11 17Govt. to provide backing to encourage disabled persons in entrepreneurship.

Women to receive an interest concession of more than 10% under Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme

Rs. 750 m has been allocated to provide relief for interest payments.

Rs. 10,000 m allocated to establish a bank specially to provide loans to small and medium enterprises.

SMEs are our backbone. Establishing necessary capital is difficult and we are looking at reducing the chances of the loans needed for this from being rejected.

Fisheries

Govt. will bear 50% of the cost for multi-day trawlers over 55 feet in length to encourage deep sea fishing.

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Environment

Rs.1,000 m allocated for developing of ten lagoons.EnvironmentBG1

Coastal area from Mt. Lavinia to Ratmalana to be renovated and Rs. 400 m allocated. Minister says govt. will build a bundt to protect the environment in the area.
We will establish an Elephant research center in Pinnawala to be established.Rs. 20 m allocated for programmes to protect endangered animals.

Looking at converting zoos in an open zoo concept. Rs. 75 billion allocated.

Rs. 1,500 m will be allocated to establish green areas in each Pradeshiya Saba areas.

Environmental friendly programmes when dumping in the Kelani River.

Expanding programmes which are concentrated on flooding in urban areas. We will construct several reservoirs to stop the flooding of urban areas.

Rs. 75 b allocated for loans to produce environmentally friendly items.

Rs.10 production tax for a Kg of polythene.

Rs. 25 m allocated to establish a Virtual Blue Green Institute.

There are 50,000 cell phone towers across the country. Govt. to  enforce a tax of Rs. 2 per call for a minute for these towers.

We will remove taxes which will import machinery for green houses.

Planning an insurance system for 5 agricultural products, which will insure an acre for Rs. 40,000. Rs. 3,000 m allocated for this project.

Allocated Rs. 1,000 m for clearing small and middle size Tanks in the country.

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Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presents budget proposals for 2018.

Vehicles :

VehicleAll government vehicles will electrical or hybrid by 2025. Special levies on luxury vehicles with engines more than 2500cc.

Levy on electric vehicles will decrease by Rs.10 lakhs.

Levy on luxury vehicles will increase by Rs. 25 lakhs.

Levy for fuel vehicles will be reformed and import taxes for electrical vehicles will be reduced.

Electric Three-Wheelers, Buses and other vehicles will have relaxed import taxes

SLBC will be made more environmentally friendly.

Introduction of more electrical charging stations.

Carbon tax proposed. Motor cycles (17 cents), cars (Rs.1.78), bus (Rs. 2.74), daily tax for vehicles that are brand new.  (Updated : 3.40 pm)

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Minister of Finance - Mangala Samaraweera says that the theme of  Budget2018 is a ‘Blue Green Enterprise Sri Lanka’. (Updated : 3.00 pm)

 

 

 

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