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Oct 27, 2014

Sri Lanka Budget Summary - 2015

• 10% reduction in water charges for first 25 units
• Pension scheme introduced for garment workers and estate workers
• Small-scale industries that use less than 300 units of electricity to get 25% off from November and 15% off for others in the industrial sector
• Seniors with bank deposits will be paid a 12% interest rate effective from 1 January 2015
• Government workers' basic salary increased to
Rs 15,000, and with allowances the minimum will come to Rs 25,000
• Cost of living allowance increased by Rs 2,200, bringing the total cost of living allowance to
Rs 10,000
• A programme to increase youth employment to 95%
• Motorcycles to be provided to police officers at
Rs 50,000
• Agrahara insurance increased by Rs 500,000
• A special programme from January 2015 to eradicate pension payment anomalies
• Allowances for elderly persons increased to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,000
• Temporary workers who have worked 180 days to be made permanent
• Rs 500 million allocated for medical checks for every citizen to help develop a healthy society in Sri Lanka, while improving quality of life
• Special recreation centres and facilities to be established for elders
• Rs 1,000 million provided to set up a revolving fund to provide loans up to Rs 100,000 to pensioners' associations, senior citizens' clubs and death relief societies to promote social development activities
• 12% annual interest rate for deposits of seniors in State banks. In order to do this, Rs 30 billion worth of government bonds will be issued, and the Central Bank has permitted finance companies to pay 11% interest on such deposits
• A loan of Rs 50,000 to at least 100,000 retirees from the public service to develop their own backyard economies and to generate self-employment income
• Rs 10 billion to recapitalize Bank of Ceylon in 2015
• Small land owners, particularly living in urban areas earning less than Rs 25,000 a month, are exempted from paying land lease rentals to the state
• Reduced the duty on importation of gold by exporters using their foreign currency accounts for the purpose of exports to 3.5% by way of a 50% duty waiver to encourage jewellery exports and the service fee imposed by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority reduced to 0.25% of FOB value of exports
• 300 factories in every divisional secretariat area to be given land on long-term leases
• Investments over Rs 500 million will be given a
Rs 7 million half-tax holiday and they also have to be registered at the Inland Revenue Department before end of 2015
• Rs 300 million to strengthen field level officers at divisional secretariats to expand awareness programmes in schools on domestic violence and child abuse
• Low-income Pradeshiya Sabhas to be given Rs 2 million a month to maintain community facilities and an additional Rs 600 million allocated to recruit 15,000 field level employees to engage in maintenance work
• Rs 7,000 million allocated to Provincial Councils

• Rs 15,000 million for irrigation projects
• Guaranteed price of paddy from Rs 34 to Rs 40, seed paddy given free for Maha season
• Fresh milk at a guaranteed price of Rs 60 per litre and local milk powder reduced by Rs 100 and yoghurt by Rs 3
• The guaranteed price of a kilogram of rubber is Rs 300 and the Department of Rubber given Rs 3,500 million
• Import tax removed on infant milk food. Funds allocated to provide nutritious breakfast for pre-school children.
• Replanting subsidy to tea small holders increased from Rs 875,000 to Rs 1 million per acre and the new planting subsidy from Rs 625,000 to
Rs 750,000 from 2015
• Small and medium dairy farmers to receive Rs 700 million to build training centres
• Rs 2,000 million to the plantation trust to improve existing houses with sanitation and toilet facilities in the plantation sector
• Custom duties on electric cars to be reduced to 25% from 61%
• Rs 3,000 million to be allocated for the revival of the Paddy Marketing Board and the outlets of Lanka Sathosa, Osu Sala, Fisheries Corporation, Milco and Laksala

• Pre-school teachers to receive Rs 2,500 monthly allowance
• Rs 1,500 million to develop rural schools
• Number of Year 5 Scholarship students increased from 15,000 to 25,000 and monthly allowance increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500
• Mahapola increased to 50,000 students including public servants' children and allowance increased to Rs 4,000 from Rs 2,500
• By 2020, 100,000 students to be enrolled to universities, and hostel facilities for 25,000
• Rs 500 billion allocated for research in universities
• Pali and Buddhist University given Rs 1 billion to improve hostel facilities for foreign monks and researchers
• Rs 1 billion for fully-equipped Nenasala Centres to be established in every Grama Niladhari division by 2015
• Rs 750 million to develop Maharagama Teacher Training College
• A new Service Minute for teacher service, which will manage promotions, salary increments and service-related administrative problems of 240,000 teachers
• 50,000 teacher assistants specializing in sports, English and IT, through a school-based system in 2015
• Vocational education scholarship scheme for 50,000 youth per year from low income families, who will also be given Rs 3,000 per month
• A school-based new teacher recruitment scheme to address the teacher shortage in schools
• Aerospace Engineering Unit will be established at the Moratuwa University

• Kidney patients to receive Rs 3,000 per month
• Rs 750 million to develop hospital kidney units in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Hambantota
• Rs 1,500 million to develop Karapitiya, Colombo, Kandy and Anuradhapura Maternity Hospitals and to develop Badulla and Beliatta Hospitals
• Rs 500 million for the provision of nutritious food for children

• Maximum PAYE tax rate at 16%
• Samurdhi benefits for a four-member family increased to Rs 3,000 and three-member household to Rs 2,000
• Young Diaspora willing to work in Sri Lanka given five-year work permit or dual citizenship
• Small-scale businesses to be exempted from government taxes
• Value added tax to be reduced to 11% from 12%
• Employees' Provident Fund company contribution increased from 12 to 14%
• Special concessionary rate for formula from Sathosa and removed all taxes and urged supermarkets too to follow the lead
• Rs 3,000 monthly grant for all disabled persons and a monthly transport allowance of Rs 750 for differently-abled students
• Main Sri Lankan towns to be developed under a special Urban Development Programme
• Pavement vendors and very small-scale self-employed individuals to be exempted from any Local Authority fees.
• Make use of the water before it reaches the sea
• A special duty scheme on motor vehicles for foreign employed individuals
• Rs 750 million to start new water supply schemes, giving more importance to places with kidney and water related diseases
• Fund allocation to establish new sugar factories and related infrastructure
• A Special Tax Scheme for the motor vehicle imports instead of the current system

• US$ 150 million for SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Air
• Rs 20,000 million for rural road development
• Rs 1,500 million for postal services
• Rs 2,000 million to rectify salaries of railway workers
• Customs and Inland Revenue to be linked online for better service
• Rs 10 billion of capital expenditure in 2015 and 2016 to develop required infrastructure, logistics and professional skills of the tri services
• Rs 200 million to develop inland fisheries and Rs 50 million to develop fisheries export
• Minimum salary of private sector workers Rs 10,000 and people who get more than that to get at least a Rs 500 increase
• A special monthly allowance for the widows of July Strikers
• Funds of Rs 2,250 million allocated to improve sports related infrastructure including facilities at Sugathadasa and Kettarama Stadiums

Source: Ceylon Today