The+budget+proposes+2%2C500+rupees+allowance+for+public+workers%2C+housing+loans+for+the+newly+married%3B+Tax+on+cigarettes%2C+liquor+and+several+vehicles+increased
Tuesday, 05 March 2019 - 19:01
The budget proposes 2,500 rupees allowance for public workers, housing loans for the newly married; Tax on cigarettes, liquor and several vehicles increased
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Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presented the appropriation bill for 2019 in parliament today.

It was approved by the Cabinet in the morning and the budget speech commenced at 4 minutes past 2 in the afternoon and lasted for two hours and 16 minutes.

Presenting his budget, Minister Samaraweera said that the government is currently taking remedial measures to recover the economy which was affected during the recent political crisis.

He said that more allocation will be made for the education and health sectors in his budget.

The minister said 48 thousand million rupees have been allocated for the Enterprise Sri Lanka development program.

In addition, a salary allowance of 2500 rupees has been granted for public servants effective July 1st this year.

The Finance Minister said that steps would be taken to reduce production tax on small trucks and the current regulations on coconut related industries would be relaxed.

Rs 1300 million will be allocated to build fisheries harbours at Point Pedro and Pesalai.

Presenting the budget 2019, Finance Minister Samaraweera said that measures will be taken to feed every rural student with a glass of fresh milk.

In his budget speech, Minister Samaraweera said that a loan scheme titled Home Sweet Home will be introduced for newly married couples.

This will be issued at the interest of 6% to be repaid in a period of 25 years.

A loan for 10 million rupees at the interest of 6% that should be repaid within a period of 15 years will be granted to expatriate workers.

The budget has proposed to set up day care centres at business institutions with over 250 employees.

The Finance Minister also pledged to find a swift solution to the estate workers’ salary issue.

Meanwhile, the ticket price to enter national parks for foreign students and foreign tourists below the age of 18 will be reduced by 50%.

The budget has also proposed to grant 3 years residence visa for foreigners who are willing to invest more than 400 thousand US dollars on urban housing schemes.

In addition, the monthly financial assistance of 3 thousand rupees for differently abled persons has been increased to 5 thousand rupees.  

Presenting the budget 2019, finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said steps will be taken to settle salary anomalies of pensioners as well, thereby increasing their pension from that day.

He further said that 12 billion rupees have been allocated for the purpose.

At the same time, the commando allowance will be increased to 5 thousand rupees from the current one thousand rupees while their housing rental allowance for war heroes will be increased by a hundred percent.

Meanwhile, Income taxes on the interest up to Rs.5000 on children’s savings will be removed and Income taxes on Interest for loans received from foreigners will also be removed.

Production tax on petrol powered vehicles less than 800cc will be increased by Rs.150, 000, less than 1000cc by Rs.175, 000 & for less than 1300cc by Rs.500, 000, while the Production tax on hybrid petrol vehicles less than 800cc will be increased by Rs.250, 000 & less than 1500cc increased by Rs.500, 000.

Production tax on electric vehicles less than 70KW will be reduced by Rs.175, 000 and Production tax on three wheelers (200cc) will be increased by Rs. 60,000.

Tax on cigarettes will be increased by Rs. 5 per stick.

Production tax on hard liquor per 750ml bottle will be increased by Rs. 63 & Rs.9 per 330ml can of beer.

Meanwhile, annual Casino permit charge has been increased by 200 million rupees and another annual permit charge of one million rupees has been introduced.

In addition, a Casino entry fee of 50 US dollars has been introduced effective June 1st.

At the same time, tax on all liquor varieties except Special arrack has been increased effective tomorrow.

Budget 2019 has increased for one-day service passport charge to 15 thousand rupees from 10 thousand rupees while general service passport to 3 thousand 500 rupees from 3 thousand rupees.

This new fees will be charged effective June 1st.

At the same time, Expressway toll has been increased by 100 rupees during peak hours effective April 1st.

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