The Budget 2019 was tabled in Parliament today at 2.00 PM by Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera.
This is Sri Lanka’s 73rd budget proposal since independence. This year’s budget or Budget 2019 is themed “Enterprise Sri Lanka – Empowering the People, Nurturing the Poor”.
The proceedings of Parliament commence at 2.00 p.m. today when the ‘Budget Proposals’ were announced with the reading of the Budget Speech at the second reading of the Appropriation Bill.
Some key points of the budget speech 2019
04:25 PM – Finance Minister thanks the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and other individuals for the assistance received to create the budget. Parliament session has been adjourned till the 09.00 AM tomorrow.
04:14 PM – Tax on casinos will be increased from Rs 200 million to Rs 400 million. Entrance fee for casinos in Sri Lanka to be increased to 50$.
04:13 PM – Citizens also have the ability to customize their vehicle number plates.
04:13 PM – Prices charged for the issuing of passports to be increased. One day service to increase by Rs 5,000. Regular service increased by Rs 3500
04:11 PM – Cess imposed on importation of Beedi leaves to be increased to Rs 3,500
04:11 PM – Communicating out reconciliation efforts are critical. towards this, I propose to allocate Rs. 200 million to the office of reparations for awareness programmes and set up the office. Rs. 6,000 will be provided to families of the missing until their cases are taken up by the Office of Missing Persons.
04:10 PM – NBT to be imposed on Cigarettes. Price expected to increase by Rs 5. With effect from the 1st of June.
04:05 PM – Solar power projects to establish solar power in temples, Rs. 300,000 will be provided to each temple to establish this system.
04.04 PM – Finance Minister invites diaspora and others to donate t the “Palmyra Fund” to develop the war torn areas in the country.
04:03 PM – Appropriate replacements will be introduced before September 1, with the aim of discouraging single-use plastic products.
04:03 PM – Rs. 20,000 million has been allocated for disaster management. The Natural Disaster Insurance will be strengthened and the installment will be increased to 1,500 million.
04:00 PM – Royalty payments system to be developed for artists and actors.
03:56 PM – Rs. 50 million allocated for the promotion of Kadolana plantations.
03:54 PM – Rs 1,000 million for the beautification of the city of Colombo which is being carried out by the Colombo Municipal Council.
03:52 PM – “Samurdhi” has failed to fulfill it’s task of empowering the public. It has become politicized. Beneficiaries are decided based on political affiliations. It will be reformed. 600,000 new beneficiaries, Rs 10,000mn allocated for this.
03:47 PM – Bribery Commission to be strengthened. Rs. 100 million allocated.
03:47 PM – Allowances given to armed forces to be increased. Commando Allowance to be increased to Rs 5,000 from the current Rs 1,000 per month. Rent allowance to be increased by 100%. Uniform allowance to be increased.
03:44 PM – Pension anomalies to be corrected. Rs. 12 billion allocated for this purpose.
03:42 PM – Government Salaries to increase by Rs 2,500 (From June 1st). Rs. 40 billion allocated for this purpose.
03:43 PM – Rs. 10 billion has been allocated to develop rural roads.
03:39 PM – Rs. 45,000 million will be allocated for drinking water projects across the country.
03:38 PM – Construction of new buildings should be accessible for differently-abled persons and as of January 1, 2020. Permission will only be given to plans that include accessibility for disabled individuals.
03:38 PM – Rs 5,000 million allocated for the Light Rail Project from Colombo Fort to Malabe which will commence work in 2019.
03:37 PM – Assistance to convert to electric three wheelers and small cars
03:36 PM – Sri Lanka Transport Board fleet to receive 250 new buses. Rs. 1.5 billion allocated for the project.
03:34 PM – Public transport system to be developed. Over next 5 years program to develop bus service. Pre paid cards and GPS location tracking (mobile apps) for bus services in the Western and Central Provinces.
03:31 PM – Bogambara prison to be developed into a public space. Rs. 750 million allocated.
03:29 PM – Beira Lake cleanup project to be completed by the Government.
03:26 PM – Bernard Aluvihare stadium in Matale and Mallamarachi ground in Kolonnawa to be developed.
03:23 PM – Rs 100 million to be allocated for the sterilization of stray dogs in the country.
03:22 PM – Rs 600 million to uplift Suva Seriya free ambulance service in the country.
03:21 PM – Sri Lanka Army to conduct vocational training programs which will be NVQ qualified.
03:16 PM – Rs. 400 million allocated for training Tamil language teachers.
03:13 PM – Finance Ministry to introduce a Scholarship for Educational Excellence (C Fund) in order to provide the students with the best G.C.E. Advanced Level examination results in the country an opportunity to study at a top foreign university. Discussions already ongoing with universities such as Harvard, Oxford and MIT.
03:08 PM – Residential Visa (3 years) for individuals who invested over USD 400,000 in condominiums.
03:08 PM – No foreign construction company will be allowed to tender for government tenders unless there are fully funded by foreign countries.
03:07 PM – Remove customs duty on go-carts, tires for go-carts, cess removed 0.25% from 0.5% to promote Sri Lanka as a sports destination.
03:04 PM – April 1, 2020, can register hotels and establishment if they have 5 rooms only. The registration process will be simplified in keeping with this. Hotels can only sign up for online bookings from 1st April 2020 ONLY if they are registered with the SLTDA.
03:03 PM – 1,000 art graduates will be trained through internships and Rs. 25,000 will be paid by the government, Rs. 300 million has been allocated for this.
03:00 PM – Rs 500 million allocated for the Bingiriya Development Zone.
03:00 PM – Import cess will be subject to phasing out para tariff phase out over five years.
02:55 PM – Rs. 250 million allocated for National Export strategy.
02:54 PM – Sihina Maliga – Loan program for expat workers to commence from next month. Rs. 10 million loan, 2 year grace period, to be paid in 15 years.
02:53 PM – HOME SWEET HOME – Loan program for newly married couples. Rs 10 million concessionary loans for middle income earners who buy their first house. 6% interest rate, to be paid in 25 years.
02:51 PM – Ambepussa and Weerawilla have been chosen to set up areas for prisoners. We will also make a village in Dompe to teach women prisoners arts and crafts, we have allocated Rs. 50 million towards this.
02:48 PM – Only 30% of females are part of the working population. We will develop day care centers across the island. The presence of women in senior roles are limited. The security and regulations commission will be encouraged to bring in more women. We will amend labour laws to ensure women are able to works from home.
02:47 PM – Differently-abled persons receive a monthly allowance of Rs. 3,000. This will be increased to Rs. 5,000. Rs. 4,320 million allocated for this.
02:44 PM – Over 50% of University students are female, yet female workforce is less than 30%. Steps to promote female participation in work force. Tax concessions for companies that grant 3 months of maternity leave.
02:41 PM – Free glass of milk for primary school children across the country.
02:40 PM – A toilet for every home – Rs 4 billion allocated from the budget. People who use public transport cannot use public restrooms, each main bus stand and railway station to get new toilets. Toilets to be operated by private sector.
02:39 PM – Fish imports to Europe increased by 14%. We will construct two new harbours at Pesalai and Mandaitivu and have allocated Rs. 113,000 million.
02:39 PM – We will finish an expressway to Jaffna before our time is over – Mangala.
02:37 PM – Moragahakanda multipurpose project will be finalised by 2020. For the Yala Maha seasons Rs. 12,000 million has been allocated for the construction of waterways in Wayamba, Maha Ela Minipe construction.
02:35 PM – Rs 1300 million allocated to build two fishing ports.
02:34 PM – Ceylon Cinnamon will be subjected to compulsory inspections and we will allow a grace period of 12 months for the producers. Balapitiya and Kosgoda training facility have been allocated Rs. 75 million.
02:33 PM – Estate sector workers salaries issue to be resolved as soon as possible.
02:29 PM – Rs 800 million allocated to boost the production of Tyrres and Rubber products.
02:25 PM – Allocation to develop religious places of worship increased from Rs 500,000 to Rs 1 million.
02:26 PM – Taxes imposed on small trucks to be reduced.
02:24 PM – Hotline -1925 for inquiries on Enterprise Sri Lanka.
02:23 PM – Rs 500 million allocated for the development of the Enterprise Sri Lanka program.
02:16 PM – There is a small and powerful sector of the private sector that are yearning for another dictator to take over. Sri Lanka needs a private sector free from protectionist mindsets, to drive growth.
02:13 PM – The rupee had appreciated by 1.5% against the dollar as of late. We now have the opportunity to continue the projects that we brought in. We have been able to keep the budget deficit at 4.5%.
02:09 PM – What we inherited 2015 from the previous government was like a “ticking time bomb,” Minister Mangala Samaraweera says referring to the economy.
02:09 PM – “I am happy to present the budget for 2019 today. The economy has settled down after the turmoil at the end of the previous year and has attained growth”, Minister Mangala Samaraweera.