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Friday, 11 November 2016 - 7:51
Budget 2017; State focuses on economic development


The anticipated Budget 2017 was presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday.

It was the second budget of the Good Governance government and the 70th one of Sri Lanka.

President Maithripala Sirisena was also present in the chambers as Minister Karunanayake announced the budget for over three hours.

At the conclusion of the speech he said that the government is focused on achieving a seven per cent economic growth next year.

Highlights of next year’s budget was the reduction of LP Gas by Rs. 25, a kilo of sugar by Rs. 2, kilo of dhal and green gram by Rs. 10 and Rs. 15 respectively. A kilo of sprats and potatoes were also reduced by Rs. 5 each.

The Finance Minister also said that an additional grant of Rs. 17.84 billion rupees was allocated for the education sector.

Meanwhile, government ministers were quoted saying that next year’s budget is focused on economic prosperity of the country.

Several MPs from other parties showed concerned about the budget stating that it would burden the people, especially the working class.

Following is the summary of Budget 2017

100% capital allowance on investment in sugar manufacturing factories

2% CESS on import of Sugar, 5% on import of Ethanol

Advanced Level students and Advanced Level teachers to receive Tablet Computers

RoC will be opened all 7 days of the week, except on National holidays

Exchange Control Act will be repealed and replaced with Foreign Exchange Act

200% Capital Allowances for Northern Province Investors, 100% Capital Allowance for Eastern Province Investors

Agency for Development to be established to facilitate foreign investment

Apparel sector to be permitted to invest outside Sri Lanka

Corporate tax exemption for headquarters of International Organizations located in Sri Lanka

Remove 25 % CESS on import of Pre-fabricated Structures

Entrepot trading to be permitted on NFE basis

Import Export control fee of 1% on CIF price of Tea to be abolished

Fee on packing of tea and logo registration to be removed

Customs levies on all materials needed for prototypes will be removed

Tax holidays for large-scale investments made in under developed regions of the country

Incorporate a company on PPP basis so that all telecommunication towers will come under the same

75% waiver on PAL on importation of high tech equipment

Amendments to the Debt Recovery Act

Flexible working hours for the Private sector

Proposal to establish Consumer Financial Protection Authority

Minimum room rate of a hotel to be abolished

Proposal to create a Real Estate investment trust
Special board for listing of SMEs at CSE to be introduced

A special SEC Act to be introduced

Remove conditions applicable for foreigners on ownership of ground floor condominiums

A special Colombo Stock Exchange Act to be introduced

Foreigners eligible to buy condominiums with a loan of upto 40% of the value

Highway Toll charges to be reduced by Rs.50 between 9.00pm to 5.00am

Capital Gains Tax to be introduced from April 2017

PAYE tax will apply on earnings more than LKR 100,000 per month Withholding Tax on Interest

Income increased to 5 % Telecommunication Levy to be increased by 25%

Corporate income tax comprises of three layers; 14%, 28% and 40% 14%- SME, Education, Agriculture, Export, Inv Funds 28%- Trade & Manufacturing, Banking & Finance, Insurance 40%- Tobacco & Liquor, Betting & Gaming, Casino

Carbon Tax will be introduced

Revision in rate of Capital Allowance

Tax on dividends increased to 14%

A rebate will be given equal to 75% of income tax attributable to foreign currency earnings in excess of a 15% increase from Y/A 2016/17 vis-à-vis Y/A 2015/16

WHT of 5% will be imposed on specified fee of more than LKR 50,000 per month

The period of appeal hearing at the Tax Appeal Commission will reduce to 6 months from 24 months

A Capital Gain Tax will be imposed at the rate of 10% on gains realized from disposable of immovable properties

The period for appeal hearing by CGIR to be reduced to 6 months from 24 months

VAT refund mechanism on goods purchased by foreigners who stay in Sri Lanka for less than 30 days

The progressive tax structure for individuals will be from 4 % to 24% having equal tax slabs of LKR 600,000 each

SVAT system will be terminated

ESC threshold is reduced to LKR 12.5 Million per quarter

Embarkation Levy will be increased to USD 50

The present annual levy on the business of gaming to be increased to LKR 250 Million

The Special Commodity Levy on white sugar to be revised to LKR 7/kg from LKR 2/kg

Telecommunication Levy on Internet services will be increased to 25%

The present exemption on interest on savings accounts upto LKR 5000 per month will be


The present exemption on dividends received by corporate unitholders of Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds will be removed

Present exemption on certain dividends & interest or profits from investments on listed securities & other instruments will be removed

The notional tax credit will be removed and the income on instruments subject to upfront tax such as TBS, Bonds or Corp Debt Securities will be taxable on the net interests

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