President presents 2014 budget
President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered the 2014 budget to parliament yesterday in which he said that Sri Lanka hopes to achieve 7.5% growth over the next three years. The president also said that the budget deficit would be reduced to 3.8% by 2016.
You can find the full budget speech here.
Some of the key points of the speech are:
• Naval and Marine University to be established
• Expect to double jobs in the information technology sector next year and an ICT zone to be established in the President’s home area of Hambantota
• Two largest children’s hospitals to be upgraded as research centres
• Rural villages to be developed; one thousand bridges to connect with main transport modes in 2014
• Textile imports to increase by 6%
• Banks will not be privatised
• $300 million to be invested on drainage systems to stop waste by 20%
• $150 million to be invested in Sri Lankan Airlines and $50 million to be invested in Mihin Lanka
• Sri Lanka Transportation Board (SLTB) to receive 2000 new buses.
The press release on the budget with highlights of the budget as presented on the government PresInform website is as follows:
“Sri Lanka aims for over 7.5% growth in next three years – President
• Expects to reduce budget deficit to 3.8%
• Rs. 1200 cost of living allowance for state sector employees
• Nation building tax of 2% will be extended to banks and financial institutions.
• Foreigners can obtain land in Sri Lanka only on lease agreements from 2014 while an initial tax of 15% of the value will be levied
• Women entrepreneurs up to the age of 68 years will receive interest free loans of Rs.250,000
• License scheme for transportation of furniture will be abolished in order to promote the locally manufactured furniture
• Aviation services will be exempted from the Nation Building Tax
• Uniform allowances for the hospital staff will be increased to Rs.1500
• Allowances for university lecturers will be increased by 5%
• Judges personal allowances to be increased by 8% to keep the profession viable and attractive
• No Provincial Council (PC) taxes on businesses with a monthly income below Rs.50,000
• 20,000 milk cows to be imported to the country in order enhance milk manufacturing
• Farmer pension to be given from next January for farmers over 63 years
Sri Lanka will aim for more than 7.5 percent annual economic growth in the next three years, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the parliament on Thursday while presenting the 2014 budget.
President Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance and Planning Minister presented the budget for 2014 to Parliament today (Nov 21). This is the 67th budget of Sri Lanka since independence and 9th budget presented by the President.
It has a series of proposals to help uplift the socio-economic conditions of the people and the development of the country. It will specially focus on strengthening free education, health services and agriculture. It was prepared with widespread consultation with people of the country.
The government expects to reduce the budget deficit to 5.2% in 2014, to 4.5% in 2015, and to 3.8% by 2016.”