What the Budget 2017 holds for Sri Lankans

What the Budget 2017 holds for Sri Lankans

What the Budget 2017 holds for Sri Lankans

Written by Staff Writer

10 Nov, 2016 | 10:01 pm

The second budget of the coalition government, targeting medium-term economic development goals, was presented to parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, today.These are some of the revenue proposals contained in the budget:

  • A case fee for any individual filing legal action.
  • Increasing the minimum fine for traffic rule violations to Rs. 2500.
  • Increasing visa charges.
  • Increasing charges on dubbed foreign television programmes.
  • Appointment of a national tax council and tax ombudsman.
  • Granting incentives to encourage the payment of taxes.
  • Increasing embarkation tax to 50 US dollars.
  • Imposing a levy of five rupees for easy cash transactions and other transactions for every Rs.10,000.
  • Telecommunications Levy to be increased by 2.5 percent.
  • An activation fee of Rs.200 for mobile phone SIM cards.
  • Continuing the alcohol, tobacco and gaming levy at 40 percent.
  • Revisions were also proposed for individual income tax.
  • The maximum rate will be 24 percent while categories will be introduced from the tax exempt income bracket by increments of Rs. 600,000, with the income tax rate ranging from four to 24 percent.
  • The withholding tax on interest earnings to be increased by five percent.
  • Revisions have also been proposed for PAYE tax with a floor of Rs. 100,000 in earnings per month.
  • The PAYE tax for secondary service income has been proposed at 10 percent for Rs.50,000 per month and 20 percent for earnings from secondary income exceeding 50,000 rupees.
  • The budget also proposes to reduce the tax on income of public sector employees from their monthly wages.

Proposals were also introduced for the motor vehicle sector:

  • The production levy on electric motor cars with a capacity less than 100 kilowatts is to be reduced.
  • The import duration on lorries and refrigeration trucks over 5 tonnes has been extended to 10 years.
  • Safety measures including Airbags, ABS and seat belts are to be made compulsory for cars.
  • The vehicle ownership fee is to be charged by Customs, when the vehicle is released.
  • A tax concession has also been proposed when exporting vehicles which are more than five years old.

Education sector. 

  • Introduction of an insurance scheme for all school-going children from the age of 5-19. Each child will be given a policy of Rs. 200,000 which will cover both in and outpatient services, subject to a maximum of Rs. 100,000 for hospitalisation and Rs. 10,000 for outpatient services.
  • Free tabs for Advanced Level students and teachers.
  • Ability for schools to rent a maximum of 50 computers each.
  • Daily allowance paid to differently-abled children raised from Rs. 50 per day to Rs. 150 per day.
  • Savings accounts for all school children with effect from January 8, 2017.
  • Loan scheme up to a maximum of Rs. 800,000 per student to pursue higher education at UGC approved non-state degree awarding entities.
  • Student monks at Pirivenas will receive a monthly bursary of  Rs.2,500.

Agriculture.

  • The budget also calls for the creation of farmer cooperatives and releasing of idle land and uneconomically utilised land for agriculture.
  • Steps will be taken to import 15,000 high milk-producing cattle breeds, with a minimum of ten such cows being given to each self-employed farmer.
  • The budget also calls for the maximum retail price of a whole chicken to be maintained at Rs. 420 per kilogramme.

Additional.

  • The Minister of Finance also urged Laksala to ensure settlement of their dues to Artisans and pledged to allocate Rs. 25 million to establish the “Pandit Amaradeva Sangeetha Ashramaya.”
  • The budget also proposed the creation of a central pension fund that brings together databases of the EPF, ETF and the Labour Department.
  • Regulatory mechanisms will be set up for three-wheelers as well as school vans.
  • A sum of Rs.150 million was allocated to the Sri Lanka Police to engage in drug prevention. while the 2017 budget also called on the Ceylon Tobacco Company to donate Rs. 500 million to the Anti-Tobacco Presidential Task Force.
  • Presidential Fund to be utilised by the Presidential Task Force for the anti-smoking campaign.

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