Written by Staff Writer
05 Mar, 2019 | 9:43 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The budget 2019 that was presented under the theme of ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka, Empower the public and Nurture the poor’ has the following proposals:
State Sector allowance
An allowance of Rs.2500 to be provided to all state sector employees, with effect from July 1st, 2019.
The budget will also address anomalies within the local pension system, and the necessary amendments to increase the benefit received by pensioners will take place with effect from July 1st 2019.
The commando allowance of Rs 1000 has been increased to Rs. 5000. Their housing allowance has been increased by 100% and their uniform allowance was also increased to Rs. 600.
“Home Sweet Home” loan scheme
The budget also proposed to implement a Home Sweet Home loan program for newlyweds, where up to a maximum of Rs. 10 million can be obtained with an interest rate of 6% that is repayable in 25 years.
Loan scheme for overseas employees
A loan program to obtain a maximum of Rs.10 million with a two year grace period, that is repayable in 15 years has been proposed for Sri Lankans who are employed overseas.
Benefits for A/L students
Fourteen top ranking GCE A/L students will receive scholarships for overseas education. The G.C.E. A/L qualified students who failed to obtain local university entrance will also be eligible for an interest-free educational loan facility, up to a maximum of Rs.1.1 million.
Transport concessions and benefits
The budget also includes a proposal to bear 75% of the total loan interest for electric three-wheelers and small vehicles purchased through loan facilities. The city rider loan program will provide the opportunity to the private sector to import 1000 luxury buses. The budget also includes proposals to provide railway carriages for the private sector on four main routes, on a lease rental basis. It further proposes to reduce the taxes imposed on small trucks.
Rs. 5 billion has been allocated for the light rail system that will commence this year. Meanwhile, the roads connected to the Southern expressway are to be completed within the year and construction activities of the second phase of the central expressway is taking place. The construction of the Ruwanpura expressway is also due to commence this year.
The budget 2019 also focuses on improving sanitation facilities of the general public. Rs. 4 billion was allocated in the budget for the purpose of building toilets.
Maternity benefits entitled to companies
Tax concessions are to be provided to companies that grant 3 months of maternity leave. If maternity leave is further extended to 4 months, such companies will receive 100% tax exemptions for the fourth month.
Differently abled benefits entitled to companies
Private organizations that recruit differently abled people, will receive government support. The government will bear 50% of the salaries up to a maximum of Rs.15,000 per differently abled person for a maximum of two years. Monthly allowance for differently abled people will be increased by Rs.2,000.
Two farms will be constructed for the rehabilitation of those convicted of drug-related offences while a vocational training institute is to be set up for female convicts.
Health and medical care
Rs.600 million is due to be allocated to expand the Suwa Sariya ambulance service island wide while measures are also to be taken to provide kidney patients with dialysis machines. Rs. 100 million has been allocated to sterilize stray dogs.
Budget proposals also include the addition of 600,000 beneficiaries to the Samurdhi fund for which Rs. 10 billion will be allocated for this purpose. Samurdhi beneficiaries will also be eligible to obtain Rs.30,000 from saving in two instalments. The first instalment will be in April while the second instalment will be in November.
Artists will be exempted from paying income tax up to a threshold of Rs.50,000. The budget also proposes to increase the funds allocated for the renovation of religious places of worship, from Rs.500,000 to Rs. 1,000,000.
“Gamperaliya” and other programs
Rs. 48,000 million allocated for the continuation of the Gamperaliya program. Provisions allocated for electorates have increased from Rs. 200 million to Rs. 300 million.
16 Mar, 2019 | 10:12 PM
16 Mar, 2019 | 01:26 PM
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