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Budget 2019 highlights for 05th March reading

The budget for 2019 commenced today at 2 PM and concluded 4.30 PM and will be continuing tomorrow at 9.30 AM. Here are some of the proposals shared by Minster of Finance Mangala Samaraweera.

  • ‘Gamperaliya’ will focus on the infrastructure needs and bridge the gaps of facilities that are needed. We have allocated Rs. 48,000 million and already began work. This is the first cabinet paper that we brought when the cabinet was reconvened.
  • Religious centers will be increased to Rs. 10 laks from Rs. 5 laks.
  • Enterprise Sri Lanka is centred in the youth, to create young entrepreneurs. We will develop this programme and we will conduct awareness programmes across the island. Members of the National Youth Center will be given priority in the scheme, we have already dispersed Rs. 60,000 million already. The Government was already bored a significant burden of the interest and therefore allocate Rs. 500 million to create a fund to help entrepreneurs.
  • Enterprise Sri Lanka will become the ecosystem for large scale development and networking. The public is encouraged to call 1929 and inform officials about the bank officer who discourage customers.
  • We will help farmers in Hambantota and several other districts. Rs. 250 million has been allocated for the first phase. Storage facilities will be in Kattipola, Jaffna and other districts.
  • The Diri Saviya loan scheme will be developed further to poultry farmers. Rubber has been a scarcity in the country. We have allocated Rs. 800 million to develop this industry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fish imports to Europe increased by 14%. We will construct two new harbours at Pesalai and Mandaitivu and have allocated Rs. 113,000 million.
  • Free glass of milk for primary school children across the country.
  • Even though we have developed with new roads and expressways but there are 1 million people with no sanitary facilities in the country. More than 100,000 in Hambantota district have no sanitary facilities. There are 25,000 houses with no washrooms in Monaragala. When this end we will promise that there will be no house without a washroom we will allocate Rs. 4 billion towards this.
  • Every main bus stations and railway stations will have washrooms for men, women and the disabled. I invite the private sectors to maintain this.
  • 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.
  • Differently-abled persons will be given Rs. 5,000, we will provide this to 72,000 individuals and we have allocated Rs. 4,300 million towards this.
  • Ambepussa and Weerawilla have been chosen to set up areas for prisoners. We will also make a village in Dompe to teach women prisoner’s arts and crafts, we have allocated Rs. 50 million towards this.
  • We have deployed resources to resettle Muslim refugees in the North.
  • Home Sweet Home loan scheme for newly married couples. The loans have a repayment period of 25 years and they have a 6% interest rate.
  • 2018 budget we announced the launch of the export market access scheme for which Rs. 250 million will be allocated.
  • Import cess will be subject to phasing out para tariff phase out over five years.
  • 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.
  • April 1, 2020, can register hotels and establishment if they have 5 rooms only. The registration process will be simplified in keeping with this.
  • 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.
  • Central cultural fund sites will ensure that tickets for foreign students will be reduced by 50%.
  • Local construction industry – No foreign company will be allowed to bid without forming a joint venture with a local company. Cost of construction will be reduced with the removal of the Nation Building Tax (NBT).
  • We will construct labs, library and infrastructure. We have allocated Rs. 32,000 million. We will allocate Rs. 100 million for training programmes for teachers which will be conducted during the during the school holidays.
  • Students who have excelled in studies will be given internships to top-notch universities, we will begin by offering 14 students on internships this year and we hope to send 28 students. The only requirement is that students return to home when their studies are complete and work for at least 10 years.
  • There are 300,000 A/L students, but only 30,000 enter local universities and some students don’t have sufficient funds for higher education. Therefore we will introduce the My Future loan scheme. We have allocated Rs. 200 million. Fourteen (14) students at A/L to receive full scholarships to Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge etc. Next year increase to 28. Will be bonded for 10 years upon return.
  • 2,410 million has been allocated to complete the canals and headworks of 7 major projects in 2019, Deduru Oya Project, the Menik Ganga Reservoir Project and the Morana Reservoir Project, which will directly benefit almost 21,000 families engaging in Agriculture.
  • 400 million has been given to the Ministry of languages to train teachers in Tamil medium.
  • NVQ certification facilities will be implemented at selected Army camps.
  • ‘Suva Sariya’ will be developed further and we have allocated Rs. 600 million. Another Rs. 1625 million will be allocated to developed emergency care for patients.
  • A sterilisation programme will be established and Rs.100 million is allocated towards this.
  • 3,800 million dedicated for cby the government and we have also allocated Rs. 300 million each to develop the Bernard Aluwhiare grounds in Matale and another in Kollonnawa.
  • Colombo is now becoming the garden city of Asia. We have allocated Rs. 8,000 million for the urban rejuvenation programme. Rs. 3,000 million has been allocated for the Sukitha Purawera programme.
  • Prepaid card and GPS centered bus system will be established in the future. A central digital platform for bus services will be established. 250 buses will also be added to the SLTB. We will bring in buses that are accessible to differently abled persons and we have allocated Rs. 1,500 million for this. Light Railway transit system will begin construction this year and we have allocated Rs. 5,000 million for the project.
  • Work on 15,000 brick and mortar houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces will commence in 2019, with an allocation of Rs.4,500Mn being already made. A further Rs.5,500Mn will be made available for these initiatives.
  • Solar power projects to establish solar power in temples, Rs. 300,000 will be provided to each temple to establish this system.
  • Expressway tolls will increase by Rs. 100 during rush hour.
  • Citizens also have the ability to customize their vehicle number plates.
  • Chargers for one day service for passports will increase to Rs. 5,000 and the normal service will be at Rs. 3,000.

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