Sri Lanka’s Budget Speech 2023

Budget in Sri Lanka Parliament

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance has started presenting the Budget Speech 2023 at 01:33 PM today (November 14).

02:53 PM – Parliament sessions adjourned till 9:30 AM tomorrow.

02:50 PM – A task force to review budget proposals to be established.

02:50 PM – Safety sticker for drinking water bottles to be made mandatory.

02:49 PM – Rs. 50 million allocated for foreign job training targeting youth.

02:48 PM – Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Badulla hospitals to be designated as teaching hospitals.

02:48 PM – Paid ward system in state hospitals to be reintroduced with national and base hospitals.

02:44 PM – Rs. 100 million allocated to establish an excise laboratory facility to test the quality of alcohol products.

02:44 PM – Rs. 500 million allocated for climate change research and studies, establishing an international university.

02:43 PM – Annual addition of $3 billion is expected from new exports from 2023 – 2032.

02:41 PM – Special committee appointed to explore the cultivation of marijuana.

02:41 PM – Funds allocated to promote entrepreneurship of elders and disabled. Funds also allocated to look into nutrition needs of children.

02:40 PM – A comprehensive welfare beneficiary system to be implemented.

02:38 PM – It is expected to achieve a high economic growth rate of 7%-8% through the social market economy based on reforms and modernization.

02:37 PM – A gem trade centre to be established.

02:37 PM – A regulatory body to be established to look into microfinance activity in Sri Lanka.

02:37 PM – The Finance Ministry established a special unit to look into state sector enterprises. Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lankan Airlines, Hilton Colombo, Waters Edge Hotel and Sri Lanka Insurance and related companies to be reformed.

02:36 PM – The President says the necessary legislative amendments and new bills for economic transformation will be presented to Parliament soon.

02:33 PM – The government recognizes the difficulties endured by state sector employees and pensioners in the face of inflation. With state service reforms, the government expects to provide relief for these sectors by the end of year 2023.

02:31 PM – Special programme to be implemented to identify high-net worth individuals and promote tax contributions.

02:30 PM – Special focus on a new economic program – environment-friendly green and blue economy and digital economy.

02:28 PM – Passport and visa fees to be increased.

02:25 PM – Health Insurance scheme to be implemented for private sector employees similar to the one enjoyed by state employees.

02:22 PM – Presidential Commission to be set up to appoint a State Revenue Authority.

02:20 PM – Presidential Commission to be established to restructure the state sector.

02:19 PM – Rs. 50 million to be allocated to establish a new institute for Sri Lanka History studies.

02:17 PM – Rs. 60 million allocated to initiate Postgraduate Medical Degrees in Peradeniya, Ruhuna and Jaffna Universities.

02:16 PM – President said a new economic foundation should be prepared to match the new trends of the world.

02:16 PM – Instead of a lifestyle tailored to per capita income, an economy tailored to the lifestyles of the youth.

02:13 PM – Digital technology plays a significant role in economic recovery. A committee to be appointed to look into the laws and policies. As the mandate for the ICTA is now over, a new methodology is required in place. Therefore this agency will be abolished.

02:12 PM – Separate Department to be established in Karandeniya to promote Cinnamon cultivation. Rs.200 million to be allocated for this.

02:10 PM – Underutilised lands to be provided for export crop cultivation on a long term basis.

02:09 PM – Policy decisions to be taken to increase Sri Lanka’s opportunities to compete in the global manufacturing chains.

02:09 PM – President assures the commencement of a new journey ensuring the lifestyles that the society is familiar with, will not fall to a lower level again.

02:09 PM – Labour laws should be updated to benefit both employees and employers. Trade unions to be consulted in this regard.

02:08 PM – Steps to be taken to enter into regional economic agreements such as the Singapore FTA

02:04 PM – Alternatives to be revisited to attract foreign investors based on tax relief measures. Rs. 100 million to be allocated for this purpose.

02:03 PM – Economic strategies proposed through the budget will not be restricted only to IMF proposals. Economic strategies of the IMF are only about Economic stability.

02:02 PM – Western Province, Trincomalee and Hambantota to be developed as new economic zones.

01:59 PM – The President said that the long-term development of the country (2023 – 2048) is based on correct decisions and not popular decisions.

01:55 PM – New laws pertaining to economic transformation will be tabled in parliament soon.

01:53 PM – President says that private entrepreneurs should be encouraged. They should be provided with all facilities.

01:50 PM – President states the government maintains 420 state institutes and enterprises, out of which 52 state enterprises incur a loss amounting to Rs. billion 86 annually.

01:45 PM – The President states that Sri Lanka has only created a few avenues of earning foreign exchange since independence.

01:37 PM – Inflation has been controlled to a certain extent while the rupee is being strengthened, the President states.

01:37 PM – President Ranil Wickremesinghe states economic difficulties have been somewhat eased over the past few months and expresses confidence in stabilizing the economy following talks with the International Monetary Fund.

Click here to read the complete Budget Speech 2023